Larry Wilson's Reviews > Cleopatra: A Life

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
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's review
Apr 26, 2011

it was ok
Read in April, 2011

I was very disappointed by this book, the primary reason being the author’s very choppy style. I found the style made it extremely hard to read with no flow to the narrative. Her style used strange placements of the basic sentence elements (I much prefer subject, verb, object order), a plethora of semi-colons and dashes, odd adverbs (use of “as well” and “too” when “also” would have been more appropriate), and multiple short sentences following each other when proper connectors would have greatly improved the flow. There were instances where her usage could have been much simpler and, in some situations, I found there were unnecessary added commas. Basically, her writing drove me nuts!

I also thought that the author frequently introduced new events or characters without the appropriate amount of background information. Perhaps a listing of the primary characters at the beginning of the book would have helped here; I noticed that War and Peace provided such a list. The bottom line is that I didn’t think she did a good job of putting together and telling the story.

As to the content of the book, it appeared that the author had done a good job of researching her subject and the times. Having studied Latin for four years in high schook, I felt that the content of this book put a lot of the times and persons in context. If this had not been the case, I would have rated the book even lower.

Lastly, I think the author could have done a better job of providing some relevance to our current world. Other than making sure we understood how amazing a person Cleopatra was, I’m not sure she gave me a lot that I took away from reading this book.

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02/20/2016 marked as: read

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