The title doesn't tell you much. This is a story about a man who grew up poor, raised by his widowed mother. All on his own, he started raising pigeon...moreThe title doesn't tell you much. This is a story about a man who grew up poor, raised by his widowed mother. All on his own, he started raising pigeons. From there, he moved on to chickens, and he soon had a thriving little business.
For some reason--I don't remember if they lost the farm or he didn't sell enough chickens or what the reason was--he got a "regular job" working at the dump and working on a garbage truck. The boss there mistreated the workers and didn't pay them well, so the hero of the story organized a strike. With the dump closed, the townsfolk's garbage piled up on the streets and things got ugly. If I recall correctly, the boss was actually removed for some reason--arrested or something--and the hero was put in charge of the dump after that.
I found this book inspiring. It's the success story of a working class troublemaker.(less)
...except that mine isn't paperback. I'm learning more about ancient classical scholars than I ever learned in high school or college, and I'm coming...more...except that mine isn't paperback. I'm learning more about ancient classical scholars than I ever learned in high school or college, and I'm coming to understand why the ADF is so into Indo-European studies.
I got this book shortly after it came out in the 1990s, but I found it too dry. Picking it up again a decade later, I'm doing slightly better, I think because I know a little more about the ancient world than I did back then. The problem seems to be one of a lack of reference. I'm not saying Ellis doesn't cite his references. Far from it! Rather, the text is cluttered with what I feel should have been moved to a bibliography. A typical sentence might read like this:
"Randinotrix (Ranconcleaus), known also as Randinoclus Vespum Hegenetorixm (literally "boar of the sweaty brow"), who had done his early miltary service in Gaul before accepting a governorship of Tweebledeaux, but who was also influenced heavily by the writings of Diogenes' lesser-known protege, Amblidogenes, wrote in his Deosum de Barbarica ad Nauseum (248/245 BC), that in one of his encounters with the Druid chieftain Emblebain (301-253 BC) of Nornbegum (Emblebanorix), the druid was said to comment that acorn bread made him gassy. Of course, that know-it-all bitch Mrs. Chadwick had something to say about it, so I shall now quote her at plagiaristic length before mocking her opinion, only to later use a portion of her quote to support my own opinions."
If you don't know anyone in that litany but Diogenes, and don't recognize any of the place names other than Gaul, this stuff goes in one ear and out the other, like reading the Old Testament or the Silmarillion. Add to that an uncertainty as to how most of the names are pronounced, and it becomes difficult even to think about. Page after page of this with just a morsel of useful information here and there makes for some tough slogging. What I have found, though, has been educational. I didn't know, for example, that there were such close parallels between the Indians and the Celts, not just in language, but in their caste systems, their religions, etc. (less)
The star rating I gave this book is misleading. It's not that I enjoyed this book (or the movie), as such. It was more traumatizing than entertaining....moreThe star rating I gave this book is misleading. It's not that I enjoyed this book (or the movie), as such. It was more traumatizing than entertaining. It was a perfect example, though, of what happens when children, particularly boys, are left with only each other as leaders and role models. When speaking in defense of homeschooling, I often point to this book as an illustration of what kind of "socialization" kids get by being thrown into an institution with hundreds of other kids and inadequate adult supervision.(less)
A real disappointment after becoming accustomed to expecting a higher standard from Ragnar Benson. After reading Living Off The Land In The City Or Co...moreA real disappointment after becoming accustomed to expecting a higher standard from Ragnar Benson. After reading Living Off The Land In The City Or Country, I thought this book would tell me everything I needed to know about building and shooting a crossbow. Instead, it was just a brief booklet on the history of the crossbow. Nothing useful here.(less)