Actually I’m not done with it yet. In fact, after about half-way through it, I put it down last week and have been reluctant to return to it. Reason? I know most of the history already. What I was hoping for, though, was that Tom Holland would consolidate a bit. You know, cliff-note the history but then go crazy with some interesting narrative. For it is, dear worst-reader, a narrative non fiction book. Boy, were my hopes misgiven. That worst-said, Holland is not a bad writer, but he does write a lot–where perhaps a little less would be just as good. Does he have to fill pages? Is there a publisher out there wanting to print more? It doesn’t matter. History is history. With that in mind, I enjoyed reading Caesar’s Civil War more. And so…
Currently reading the book Rubicon. It’s a celebrated narrative non-fiction of the rise and fall of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire. That’s right, dear worst-reader. They were two different things. But, as previously mentioned, I’m not as tickled with the book as I had hoped to be. Holland’s writing does not pull me in. Does it push me away? I’ll hold off on that question for now. Of course, this book did make my reading list a few years back after reading about it. And now I’m battling through it. So let me just worst-write a few thoughts based on what I’ve read so far–in case it joins my list of I give up books.
Even though the author is British, I get the sense that through his “narration” he is chronicling the fall of today’s Western empire–with my beloved & missed #Americant in mind. Considering that one of the reasons I chose this book from my to-read list now is the fact that #Trumpism and his lust for authoritarianism is running amok, I’ve always wanted to know why it is that so many many many people can fall for something as stupid as, well, believing and then electing… a President Stupid. I mean, I get it that there is a faux-newz channel in the united mistakes of #Americant. I also get it that Rush Limbaugh has played a major role in corrupting already vulnerable half-baked minds. In fact, the whole right-wing narrative that has corrupted practically everything in #Americant, has never been more obvious. Yet, even after Ronald Reagan, after what one side of politics in the US has done (I am NOT a both-siderist!), I’ve always believed that more than a few people by now should wake up to reality and do the simple task of not voting for the shit side all the time. As usual, I am wrong and I am probably off subject.
The only thing that stands out after reading half of Rubicon is the relationship between the ruling elites and the willing slaves that supported those elites through both the Republic and the Empire of Ancient Rome. But then again, if you’ll allow this tangent, I am obsessed with hating not just President Stupid (the perfect imbecilic example of a 20th century wannabe emperor) but the minions (modern slaves?) that put him there–just like those idiots of Rome that ransacked the world in the name of greed, lust, hoarding, spite and bigotry, etc. Yeah, history sounds familiar, don’t it?
I guess there’s no point in reading a book that tells me neither anything new or anything original about ancient Rome. But for those who know nothing of it, this book might be a great place to start. Who knows, I might finish it eventually out of sheer boredom and that unwillingness to put Caesar’s dagger through my left temple.