- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Adams Media (June 18, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1440524882
- ISBN-13: 978-1440524882
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.9 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,760,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Book of Ancient Bastards: 101 of the Worst Miscreants and Misdeeds from Ancient Sumer to the Enlightenment Paperback – June 18, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
The prose is horribly repetitive. Something explained in one chapter is re-explained in the next one. When members of a family get their own chapters (the sons of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine), the repetition becomes tedious. And there are errors. Did Cicero really use the phrase "Cinderella slippers"? Did Nero really erect a huge "statute" of himself?
The narrative voice is snarky and sarcastic. Lots of street slang (kick ass and piss off). Using the word "bastard" constantly in both meanings of the word ends up weakening it and rendering it powerless. I wish there had been more information about some of the more obscure people and less repetitive sarcasm.
Furthermore, the book was very limited in scope. There was page after monotonous page of Roman emperors (about 100 pages in all just for them), some European kings and popes, and not a whole lot else. Surely the rest of the world had bastards too? What about China, India, Africa? What about the New World; there were some very nasty European explorers there that definitely would qualify.
There are lots of other encyclopedias of bad people in history that are much better than this one. I would recommend Dorothy Johnson and R.T. Turner's The bedside book of bastards.
From. Zoe m-m-mamula and Raymond chan
In this book, the author's research is evident and the reading about each "baddie" is quick, because the author devotes just three pages to each infamous character. And they are doozies! Ones not typically known. But each character/person certainly influenced ancient history. Most of the characters have multi-syllable names such as Polycrates and Nabonidus, the last King of Babylon. And the author does have a female baddie, an empress, too . . . and shame on her.
This book is entertaining and enlightening. If you leave it on your coffee table, it'll be a "conversation starter", for sure.