“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

I have really put this off long enough. 

The biggest problem I saw with this book:

Greek Fire, et al.

Is that I am not sure she really had enough material for a whole book.  What she did have was good material that she stretched out – a lot.  Poison arrows. Okay, I get it already.

As a dilettante of history myself, I also have alarm bells at the liberal use of mythology to extrapolate into actual usage.  This is a bit of a slippery slope. To say because somebody can “imagine” something means that they actually “used” something, or even saw it being used can be a bit of a stretch. It may be merely an exercise in wishful thinking.  Think of Star Wars.  This is not to say that there were no convincing real-world examples, because the documentation otherwise was pretty good.  But we were running about 50-50 with mythology, at least through the first half of the book.

And the first half is all I can really comment on with any accuracy, because I pretty much skimmed the last half of the book and hit the highlights.  It’s not that the book was poorly written – it wasn’t.  The flow was pretty good.  It just got so repetitious through the first half that I kept nodding off.  It is almost vanishingly rare for me NOT to finish a book.  I read scientific journals for a living, so my standard of content leans toward the dry side anyway.  The book was, well,  a bit thin. 

Charlotte reports that it got better in the second half, and I plan on later finishing it up and finding out first hand.   But I will admit that a copy of “The Dante Club” fell in my hands, and I am a sucker for a good murder, sooo…

I never thought I would be so enthusiastic about the thought of reading Pamela Anderson.

October 19th, 2006 at 11:19 am