I finally made it through this one. I say finally not because it was a bad read. For some reason, Schiff's writing puts me to sleep after just a coupl...moreI finally made it through this one. I say finally not because it was a bad read. For some reason, Schiff's writing puts me to sleep after just a couple pages, even during exciting moments. I don't think that there is anything wrong with her style, but just the way my mind and body react to it. Others that have read this book have been surprised when I mention that she was putting me to sleep. I would have to say that this was the best cure for insomnia I have found.
I think that the biography was good. Schiff put a lot of effort into trying to present the various conflicting and hyperbolic accounts in the right context as well as working to include an amazing amount of citation, notes, and background. I think that she would have done better by including more Latin and Greek, but I realize that the target audience was more general than just classicists. Between the sleep-inducing writing and the lack of ancient languages, I can't comfortably rate this better than okay, though I feel that others would enjoy it quite a bit.(less)
When I read this book, it was mostly as a joke. I had decided to read it because I thought the title was humorous. However, I read it seriously, not h...moreWhen I read this book, it was mostly as a joke. I had decided to read it because I thought the title was humorous. However, I read it seriously, not half-heartedly. This is one of two books (the other being Greg Tobin's "The Wisdom of St. Patrick") that helped to begin and solidify my thought processes toward converting to Catholicism. The author really pulls you in and forces you to look at not just what the Church does, but why it does those things and whether or not that is what we all should be doing. As a protestant reading this, it made me really analyze my protestant roots and question them like I've never questioned them before. This book was really my first step. I fought it all the way, but there are things about both Protestantism and Catholicism that this book makes you realize deep in your soul and heart. Another must read for the Protestant, either with Catholic friends, with an interest in the history and tradition of the Church, or one thinking of converting... This book will take one through an amazing spiritual journey whether you wish to go or not.(less)