Elizabeth's Reviews > Cartoon History of the Universe I, Vol. 1-7: From the Big Bang to Alexander the Great

Cartoon History of the Universe I, Vol. 1-7 by Larry Gonick
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it was ok

I am a pretty terrible student of history. It doesn't matter how many times I try and grasp historical events; weeks later, I cannot recount a single name or detail. So I was hoping that this comic book (which would surely provide an easily digestible account of world history) could help.

There are certainly a lot of things to like about these volumes -- the drawings are engaging, the humor is dry, and I did indeed learn some things. I have a much better understanding of Greek history now, the relationship between Persia and Greece, etc.

That said, after finishing, I was mostly disappointed with it. I found his treatment of sex odd; I'm no prude, and would expect a book on history to include violence and sex, but his approach to it gave me "creepy uncle" vibes. Also: it's obviously VERY DIFFICULT to cover the Big Bang to Alexander the Great in 350 illustrated pages, but his focus and pacing were challenging. Sometimes he would spend pages on a single event; other times, he would jump decades or hundreds of years into the future without much warning.

I think I would have liked this more if I already had a good grasp on the content and could enjoy Gonick's take on things. As a learning aid, it left a lot to be desired.

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Reading Progress

June 3, 2011 – Shelved
April 12, 2019 – Started Reading
April 12, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
May 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

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