Why was this book written? I can enjoy a humorous book as well as anybody, but the subject is a serious one and the humor here is over the top and, frankly, repetitive and not all that funny.It's hard to see what the author's message is other than there are lots of inconsistencies in the way the US is governed and that the source of at least some of that is the constitution. So what, we all know that. There is no real solution here.Irony and satire can be useful, but not when it is boring...and this book rapidly becomes boring.
Most ancient history books about the Persian wars of Greece are colored by the viewpoint of the victors, the Greeks. This author tries (and succeeds) to present more of what it would have looked like to the Persians. Historians might not like the amount of unverified speculation indulged in, it makes for a good read. It once again demonstrates to me just how absolutely remarkable the Greeks were in coming up with democracy, flawed as it may have been.
First half of this was wonderful, author creates an amazing world, both real and virtual. But the book became hard to finish as the plot got bogged down in discussions of Sumerian languages and ancient religions. Worth reading to meet the two main characters: Hiro, the katana wielding super hacker and Y.T. the 15 year old "chick" (her description) who works as a courier on a super advanced skateboard!
I have read this 2x as I find the story of the Pharohs to be so amazing. No other culture survive as long as them. Just think: we are closer in time (2000 years) to the last pharaohs than they were to the beginning of Egypt(5000 years ago). They employed their own archaeologists to help decipher their own past. And this comprehensive history gives not only the facts but the flavor or ancient Egypt.
I was given this by our South African friends, John and Clare. Clare grew up in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) and had to leave after things starting getting intolerable. It's a funny yet sobering account of what life in Zimbabwe is currently like for the few whites who consider themselves Zimbabweans and chose to stay.
An interesting commentary on the Iliad, but not one that focuses on the text itself, but rather compares the story to what we now of Bronze Age Greece. A lot of discussion is devoted to the question of the historicity of the tale. It's a very light read, without much substance...but I don't think it really sheds much light on the subject.
If I knew about this book previously, I would have read it and the actual Illiad at the same time (alternating a chapter in this book with the corresponding chapter(s) in the Illiad. When you read the Illiad, particularly the first time, you miss so much. Ms. Alexander makes sure you don't miss anything. She explains and expands upon all the references that are important. Most importantly and dramatically, she sets the scene and mood for the actual story. It sounds trite to say but true nonetheless, the story comes alive with her narrative. At the same time, she opines on what it must have been like hearing this as a Greek of old. Well done
Wow! Two alternating stories, slowly converging on each other. One in the style of William Gibson or Neal Stephenson, the other as if written by Franz Kafka (though not quite so depressing as that implies)...with a bit of Raymond Chandler throw in (it is hard boiled after all). He's clearly thought a lot about mind and memory; an easy...