Arieltsmith's Reviews > Becoming Charlemagne: Europe, Baghdad, and the Empires of A.D. 800

Becoming Charlemagne by Jeff Sypeck
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Jun 26, 10

Read in June, 2010

"Becoming Charlemagne" is definitely history light, and a quick read which seems almost more like a historical novel than a stab at a history book. Sypeck spends a great deal of time trying to recreate what sights and sounds of places like Charlemagne's rural mountainside court in Aachen, or the colorful, corrupt streets of Constantinople. While these recreations are mostly fun to read, by the end of the book I felt like I had been reading more of Sypecks flights of imagination than actual history. Unfortunately, Sypeck also delights in melodramatic cliffhangers, so that you can almost hear a "dun, dun, DUN!!!" with the close of every chapter.

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