You Did What? Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters

By ,

When it comes to this book, it wasn’t a mad plan; it was a pretty good one. And it doesn’t quite end in disaster—it just never really pans out. As the title implies, this work of nonfiction examines various faux pas, from major catastrophes to slightly ridiculous blunders. The book includes everything from the abduction of Helen of Troy to the Watergate scandal, and the subject matter naturally lends itself to a few well-placed jibes. When performed correctly and at someone else’s expense, sarcasm can be extremely amusing. However, like an out-of-tune violin, this book doesn’t quite hit the right pitch. The premise is excellent, but the writing falls flat. Rather than adding a touch of worldly wit, the book’s snide tenor comes off as annoying and a little childish. The information itself is interesting, and the fault lies entirely in the style of presentation. Given the human penchant for idiocy, the editors should have no trouble finding a wealth of material with which to perfect the writing style for their next offering.

 

 

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12 of the best stories selected from the 2012 Historical Novel Society Short Story Award

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(US) 0060532505

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320

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