Teaser Tuesday: The Truth

Like the repeat sign sending the violinist back to start, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.

Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather over at bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

This week I’m not reading anything new; I’m still working through A Universal History of the Destruction of Books, so I’ll share a teaser from my current Discworld read, The Truth.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to  . . . a random page! [Sorry, I forgot to change this when I had the book open.]

William wondered why he always disliked people who said 'no offense meant.' Maybe it was because they found it easier to to say 'no offense meant' than actually to refrain from giving offense.

The Truth cover

In Retrospect

The Art of History

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher as a result of Goodreads Giveaways and in exchange for an honest review.

Despite the subtitle “Unlocking the Past in Fiction and Nonfiction”, Bram spends a majority of the book discussing fiction and not actual nonfiction – he seems to have missed the idea that popular histories aren’t always “nonfiction.”

That said, the book does an excellent job of explaining how authors treat history in their works, and may inadvertently help explain why movies based on history may get much more history “right” while at the same time getting so much more history “wrong.”

The initial chapters are engaging, but the work suffers toward the end. Ironically, the last chapter about endings and epilogues read like a bad ending in itself – after steaming happily along, Bram seams to have run out of things to say and botches the conclusion.

Moreover, while this work may “unlock” history for the average reader, it does little for the academic historian to understand why writers generally treat history recklessly. A better subtitle would be “Introducing the Past in Fiction.”

So, why the three star rating? Well, it won’t actually make you a worse person for having read it (my one-star rating since Goodreads won’t let one give zero stars to a work), and the writing – for the most part – was engaging, pushing it past the “OK” mark. So I guess my “real rating” would be 2.5 stars, which I’ll be generous and round to 3 stars.

I would be interested to see some reviews from English academics, but this just didn’t work for me. If I’d bought it, I’d consider myself cheated if I spent more than $5.

3 Stars

 

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