I'm going to disagree with much of the middling and negative reviews about this title.
If you're serious about writing, why would you dismiss somethinI'm going to disagree with much of the middling and negative reviews about this title.
If you're serious about writing, why would you dismiss something that would and could be of great help to you? Especially from someone who is as esteemed as Walter Mosley? Doesn't that seem ridiculous?
Like most writers, I collect, read, thumb, and tag writing reference titles to keep on hand and to get guidance. Mosley's title was recommend to me from an artist friend who thought its straight to the point advice given in bite sized allotments would be attractive to me and he was right.
Sure, yes, you can listen to CBC Writers and Company (one of the best writing podcasts out there), subscribe to a zillion magazines and newsletters, and read blogs and websites to get advice. But while some of that information is helpful and at times useful, distilling through the noise to get to the actual meat of matter is exhausting. This is why Mosley's works is important - it gets rid of all the high falutin pretentious twaddle that seems to crop up in most writing manuals and advice how-tos and gives you the real deal. ...more
This book is bizarre in that the premise is good, the writing is good, but it took me nearly six months to finish which should have been a few days, mThis book is bizarre in that the premise is good, the writing is good, but it took me nearly six months to finish which should have been a few days, maybe a week of solid reading. The Far Traveler become my albatross and I couldn't shake myself from its grip. What went wrong?
Simply put, this was not so much the tale of Gudrid rather Gudrid was the weak link for Brown to explore life and time of 10th century Iceland from a woman's perspective. By this I mean you'll be dozens and dozens of pages in with discussion on long house building or Viking weaving technology before you realise Gudrid has not been mentioned, even in passing, once. I learned a lot about Viking age, and this book definitely whetted my appetite to learn more, but I know even less about Gudrid than I did when I started the book - which seemed to defeat the purpose.
Brown admits in the beginning there is scarce information about Gudrid, just a few mentions in the sagas, but if you're going to explore the period of someone's life, shouldn't you at least tie them into the scene? And this is where I think the book failed. Brown had a lot of opportunity to make Gudrid a part of the conversation, and she isn't even a full stop at the end of a sentence.
I originally rated this 5/5 after the first 50 pages, but dropped it down to 3/5 because of the huge issue I had with Gudrid not being front and center.
Additionally, Brown does provide pages and pages of notes, acknowledgements, and sources to further your reading of the period....more
Just finished this for a project I'm doing for one of my classes and interestingly enough, I learned a lot from Kammen. She presents the how's and whyJust finished this for a project I'm doing for one of my classes and interestingly enough, I learned a lot from Kammen. She presents the how's and why's in a conversational style and a lot of the points she discusses are spot on with regards to local history societies as a whole. She also gives a lot of examples and techniques on the topic, which I also found extremely helpful. ...more