Badass: A Relentless Onslaught of the Toughest Warlords, Vikings, Samurai, Pirates, Gunfighters, and Military Commanders to Ever Live
An unstoppable collection of the most hardcore figures who ever strapped on chain mail and ran screaming into battle
Throughout history—from the bone-crushing age of antiquity to the sack-tearing modern era—there have been larger-than-life ass-kickers with a natural talent for unleashing their epic bloodlust on anyone who crossed them. They built empires, smashed armies,...more
This is less a history book and more like a drunk conversation during a football game with your college roommate who’s majoring in history and pulling straight A’s despite living almost exclusively on Big Macs and bong resin. This is world history taught by the triumvirate of Sylvester Stallone, Samuel Jackson and John Madden.
....and I thought it was sooooooooooooooooo much fun.
Ben Thomps ...more
To come close you'd have to conquer a nation...or TWO...and then do a fricken backflip for no fucking reason other than to kick GOD himself in his bearded chin. (You know...to prove that you could.)After that, you'd have to survive some insurmountable odds...like WAY worse than that 300 shit you saw. Only ...more
The problem is that the writer is too busy using modern hyperbole to describe each person that it just becomes silly. For instance in one description the viking Harald Hardrada is described as doing a top rope elbow drop, while in another Miyamoto Musashi is described as rocking out to 80s metal. Seriously, it ends up feeling like a 14 year old boy wrote the book. And because o ...more
Now, I'm no longer a teenage boy myself, but I do appreciate obnoxious sarcasm from time to time, and I certainly enjoy a good hyper-masculine, testosterone-fueled look back at historical figures.
Combine that with a proclivity for words one rarely hears in polite conversation and a ...more
And I laughed until it hurt.
What I imagined was some marginally literate surfer dude who was given an encyclopedia of military history, and who keeps rushing into your dorm room screaming, "You gotta get a load of THIS!" and then paraphrases what he read about some skull-crushing, throat-tearing Conan the Barbarian type. The exuberance and enthusiasm of the author jumps ...more
I've read a lot of books by stand-up comics and most of them aren't funny. The stand-up act just doesn't translate to the written word (Denis Leary is an example, Jim Norton is an exception). On his webpage Ben Thompson describes himself as "a full-time corporate wage slave who spends his spare time writing about things he thinks are badass" and he runs an hilarious website called "badassoftheweek.com" that should be required reading for every ...more
Though I should have known from the title, the rhetorical style of the author is something akin to a fourteen-year-old comic book nerd who has learned a few words of how “real men” talk and parrots them ad nauseam in attempt at Spike TV-type “manliness”. A few pages in, it becomes extremely tiresome, and it is sustained throughout ...more
It's history meets shock disc jockey. That might work if there was something clever in the shock but it's pedestrian and repetitive. It also uses references to US culture and society that I'm not familiar with and hence I'm lost by it.
Here's some irony. He writes about how the Spartans would banish "pussies" to Athens, those who wanted to study and read books instead of being a Spartan who focused on being a warrior. It seems the author agrees with the Spartans and yet ...more
Ben Thompson has a very pedestrian and kickass form of narration that makes reading about all the Badasses a LOT of fun.
It covers the ages from Ramses to Chandragupta Maurya to Jonathan Netanyahu, by dividing the book into four eras.
Makes history so much easier to consume.
And, as Bill Cosby used to say about the "Fat Albert" show, if you're not careful, you might learn something before it's done.
If they bother to learn it at all.
Or any history, for that matter.
Part of the problem may often be in how history is written, or presented.
Take this passage from Wikipedia on The First Triumvirate:
The First Triumvirate was a political alliance between three prominent Roman politicians (triumvirs) which included Gaius Julius ...more
This is a POOR, ie, BAD, WRITER This is a STUPIDLY written book. This book seems to be written for ignorant, low IQ teenaged boys.
Scattered throughou ...more
The authors writes his overviews in a very over-the-top manner. Some examples:
- …so Duke William raised an army and started beating the crap out of everyone just to prove to his peo ...more
It's history for guys.
It's modern mythology.
This book makes me excited about history - it seems like the type of history Mr. Cormier would have taught us, if he'd been allowed to swear in class.
This book does go a little over the top at times, but if it doesn't inspire you to want to be a historical badass, then you might not have a pulse. Close the book and wack your head with the spine a few times, so you know what one feels like.
I read this and it didn't just make ...more