Shaun's Reviews > A History of Bombing

A History of Bombing by Sven Lindqvist
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's review
Dec 19, 2011

really liked it
Read from September 11 to December 19, 2011

This was a consistently jarring book, but I couldn't put it away without finishing it. Lindqvist pulls equally from historical anecdotes on the birth of flight (quickly followed by the idea that things could be hurled from the sky) and the literary threads that helped shape public thought on aviation, advances in military technology, and power. Maybe more than anything, I kept putting the book down and feeling thankful that I could ride my bike to one of many part time gigs without worrying about daily carpet bombing, napalm, or the blinding light of a nuclear explosion kicking off. Or could I? Putting the history of human violence and male power fantasies in perspective, this is one of the heaviest things I've read in the last year - like the author was continually laying bricks on my soul. Sorry if that sounds trite, it's just that it was a tricky book to work through without having to stop often and take a breath.

The structure of the book breaks things up along threads which criss-cross the chronology of the book as it would otherwise read front-to-back, which provides a somewhat innovative read (reminding me of Choose Your Own Adventure pulp) and at the same time tears your mind a couple steps further from the detached reading that might otherwise occur during the forced ingestion of so much that is horrifying and real.

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