Jo Walton's Reviews > Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo de' Medici

Magnifico by Miles J. Unger
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's review
Apr 02, 2012

Read from April 02, 2012 to October 31, 2015

There's a piece of advice they give to fiction writers with which I very much disagree -- start with action. This is terrible for fiction, because there's nothing more boring than action before I care about who is engaging in it. But "hook them with action" is what people get told, and lots of them do it too. Terrible advice. It's even worse advice for biographers, and especially when the subject of the biography is so little an action hero that the supposed "hook" action is almost the only action in the whole book, as here.

Apart from that silliness, this is a decent biography of Lorenzo, neither hagiographical nor cynical. I'd recommend Hibbert's The House of Medici instead, better written and more interesting, but this does cover some Lorenzo-specific ground Hibbert does not.
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10/28/2015 marked as: currently-reading
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Jenika (new)

Jenika "There's nothing more boring than action before I care about who is engaging in it." I agree! I have no comment about this book, but this is a great observation. Character is a far better hook.

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