Brian's Reviews > In Search of the Dark Ages

In Search of the Dark Ages by Michael Wood
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's review
Aug 01, 2011

it was ok

I like Michael Wood's work. I'll go ahead and damn him with the praise that his summation of history and archaeology is "accessible". I have no doubt that he's passionate, thorough, articulate and competent (more damning praise). Still, I didn't enjoy this book. I couldn't wait to be done with it and if you quizzed me on its contents, I don't think I'd do very well. This likely has much to do with my familiarity with the subject matter. If the names Offa, Athelstan and Ethelred are already quite familiar to you, you'll make out rather well. If not, they may seem like little more than an anonymous procession of Anglo-Saxon kings who set about unifying England when not getting harassed by Danish vikings. Things come alive when Wood describes the battle of Hastings. It's gripping stuff, but was, for me, too little too late. My ignorance of pre-Norman English history is largely to blame for my dissatisfaction. Still, after 250 pages I remain fairly benighted.

So, not a great read. But Mr. Wood is not entirely at fault.
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Finished Reading
August 1, 2011 – Shelved

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