A.L. Sowards's Reviews > Black Lamb and Grey Falcon

Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 29, 2015

liked it
bookshelves: history-1900s, read-in-2012, history-0-to-1500, history-1500-to-1900

This book has been on my to-read list for a while (since 2006). I knew if I wanted to write a novel set in Yugoslavia during the 1940s, I had to tackle Black Lamb and Grey Falcon. All my other research books mentioned it (often in the text, not just in the bibliography), but I wasn’t looking forward to it, mostly because of the length.

I finally got around to reading it. At first, it was a lot better than I expected. But it kept going, and going, and going. This isn’t the longest book I’ve read, but it felt like it. It felt longer than The Count of Monte Cristo or Les Miserables or The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich—all of which contain more pages (not sure on the word count). Sometimes her writing was beautiful. Sometimes it seemed really wordy. There were parts I loved, especially the history. And there were parts that left me yawning. Yet I could see how each chapter and each tangent told me a little something extra about Yugoslavia.

Am I glad I read it? Yes. Did I learn something? Big yes. Would I recommend it to others? Parts of it, yes. In it’s entirety—probably just to people really, really interested in Yugoslavian history up until the beginning of WWII. I’ll reread some chapters, but doubt I’ll tackle it all from start to finish again.

Overall, I felt like I was on a really long journey with Rebecca West. And Rebecca West is very smart, but I didn’t always agree with her. During some sections, I kind of wanted a break from her. I didn’t like that she was so harsh on the apostle Paul. In the end, I found her epilogue about freedom and the war that had just begun against the Nazis inspirational (and possibly a little long winded).
3 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

05/13/2016 marked as: read

No comments have been added yet.