Dan's Reviews > Travels with Herodotus

Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuściński
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's review
Feb 08, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 2010

kapuscinski is one of my absolute favorite writers, but this is one of his least exciting books. it has its moments of greatness - the parallels between stalin's death and the sudden availability of herodotus' writings are quite memorable, and kapuscinski's trademark knack for respectfully approaching the otherness of the globe is on display throughout. he tries to fuse his typical, literary travelogue approach to journalism with a fairly straightforward appreciation of the ancient writer, and the overlap doesn't always work. part of the problem is that the epic battles of antiquity aren't really my thing, and kapuscinski is clearly enthralled with them. so much so, in fact, that he ignores the potential to examine the "otherness" of antiquity - the image of the despotic persian empire versus the reason-and-justice of the greeks, for example. put simply, the writing is too affectionate to ask tough questions. the results are often endearing, but occasionally flat.

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