Wednesday, March 26, 2008

An Utterly Impartial History of Britain - John O'Farrell

Although sub-titled "2000 Years of Upper-class Idiots in Charge" this book is mercifully free of polemics. Although amusing and ironic in its tone at times and certainly no scholarly tome this is a hugely informative book for those whose knowledge of the basic events of British history is sketchy to say the least. The impartiality claimed in the title is, or course, completely ironic in that there is a thoroughly partial early twenty-first century, liberal "take" on events here. Entertaining, comprehensive and informative.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Othello - William Shakespeare

Normally I enjoy reading Shakespeare a great deal, if not as much as seeing a well-acted live performance. For once, though, I found the process unrewarding. Tedious even. I've enjoyed the play on the stage but on the page it lacked the spark of inventiveness and association that's such a hallmark of Shakespeare's writing. I'm as surprised as disappointed because this has never been the case in the many plays I've read before.