I couldn't stand this book and it was terribly slow to get through. I finally set it aside, gave it away, and never finished it. I was glad to be ridI couldn't stand this book and it was terribly slow to get through. I finally set it aside, gave it away, and never finished it. I was glad to be rid of it. ...more
I wasn't even going to add this book to my Goodreads list, but after my blog entry today that discussed parts of it, I decided to just go ahead.
I nevI wasn't even going to add this book to my Goodreads list, but after my blog entry today that discussed parts of it, I decided to just go ahead.
I never would have read this book if my mother hadn't sent it to me. When I opened the FedEx package she sent, I thought “Oh no, why did she send this, if I’m not even going to read it.” But then I started it, and it’s got a really good message. It’s kind of like The Secret, which was such an important book and movie for me, but with God. Which kind of freaked me out at first, because I’m really not into the whole American TV evangelist thing, but the message is right in line with a lot of things in the Secret, and a lot of things Alfredo says, too. So I kept going, and finished it this afternoon.
I have to say, I really liked it. It's similar to a lot of things I have already read, but it's always good to read positive things one more time. ...more
A life changing book! It totally helped me get organized and get things out of my head and into my Outlook. Now I have no doubts about all the thingsA life changing book! It totally helped me get organized and get things out of my head and into my Outlook. Now I have no doubts about all the things I have to do, both personally and professionally. A big stress reliever!!...more
This is a GREAT book! I just started it this afternoon and I can't put it down. This book is full of great service stories that are totally inspiring!This is a GREAT book! I just started it this afternoon and I can't put it down. This book is full of great service stories that are totally inspiring!!...more
Timbuctoo is a novel that I could not put down. I read it in three days, and it took me that long only because I had work to do. If I had received myTimbuctoo is a novel that I could not put down. I read it in three days, and it took me that long only because I had work to do. If I had received my copy on a weekend, I would have read through it in one sitting. The story is entertaining, fascinating, and gripping.
This book is so different from the author's previous books, and yet I loved it just as much as everything else I've read of his. First of all, it's historical fiction (a Regency romance, nonetheless), while his previous work was travel writing, both guide books and amazing real life adventures. Secondly, this book marked the author's move from traditional Big Six publishing to self publishing.
Shah's wife is a book designer, and between the two of them they created a true work of art: a gorgeous hardcover edition, with gilded lettering on the cover, marbled end-papers (when was the last time you saw those on a modern edition?), a silk bookmark, a little pouch in the back cover filled with extra goodies, and amazing paper quality. The book is huge, textbook-sized, and has six fold-out maps included inside. I am a map addict, and can stare at a map endlessly.
Five of the six maps that were included in this book are Horwood's maps of London. I had never heard of these maps before reading Timbuctoo, but apparently Richard Horwood spent almost ten years from 1790 to 1799 mapping the streets of London, down to each individual building. The amount of detail is impressive. If you are a map freak, you must get this book.
I was also not a huge fan of the Regency before this book (with the exception of Jane Austen), but the amount of historical detail in Timbuctoo led me to do a little research online. The Timbuctoo website also has a massive amount of information on the Regency: digital images of Horwood's maps, the original Narrative of Robert Adams, people from the Regency, places from the Regency, things that were stylish during the Regency, explorers who attempted to reach Timbuctoo and failed, a list of suggested reading on Timbuctoo, a timeline of the history of Timbuctoo, and a poem by Tennyson on Timbuctoo. There is so much supplementary information to keep you busy researching topics related to both Timbuctoo and the Regency Era.
Shah makes history come alive in this book. I am not a huge history buff and I was always bored in school by the memorization of battles and dates, but I love hearing stories from times past. Timbuctoo is the most fascinating story of an illiterate American sailor who was shipwrecked off the coast of Africa, enslaved for three years, and survived to tell his tale in London.
It's an endearing love story, and it's also story of endurance: of struggling on when there's no hope on the horizon. And it's a story of survival: redemption when you least expected it. These are timeless themes, appealing at any point in history. Adams focuses on three very clear goals: first, surviving and attaining his freedom from slavery; second, returning to the United States; third, reuniting himself with his young bride. Is he successful on all three counts? I don't want to spoil it for anyone, and in any case, Adams' journey is much more important than the end result.
Woven throughout Timbuctoo is a thread of rebellion, of going against the grain, of not following the pack. Robert Adams is not only a survivor, he insists on keeping true to himself at every turn of the story. Despite the hatred his beloved's father held for him, he insisted on marrying her. Unlike his companions, he refuses to convert to Islam while enslaved in the desert, insisting on retaining his Christian faith. And while telling his tale in London, he refuses to get caught up in the sometimes dangerous politics of Regency society.
The characters are rich and well developed, and the author does an excellent job of drawing you into the world he's created. You'll be rooting for Adams from the very beginning, and you'll stay on his side throughout the book. His companions on his journey are equally fascinating, and have a depth that goes beyond the simple dichotomy of good and evil.
One added bonus is that the author is planning a treasure hunt to promote the book, and has hidden four large golden African heads all over the world. More details on the website, and clues to crack the code to find the GPS coordinates are found within the book itself.
Timbuctoo will appeal to Jane Austen addicts, history buffs, fans of exotic adventure, and underdog enthusiasts. This is one of those books where, when you reach the final page, the only thing you can think of doing is to flip the book around and start back on page one. And so you do. I cannot recommend it enough.
Disclaimer: I know the author personally and work with him through my company, Tribal Publishing, which helps authors build their online platform using social media. I was a reader of this author's books before working with him, and our professional relationship did not affect this honest review. ...more