Fun and educational but fusty, and riddled with errors.
This book is often fun and educational, but the frequent mistakes and “young fogey” tone get annoying. It resembles something out of the early 20th century, not just in style, but in substance.
While I was reading, every few pages, I noticed a mistake. Were they trying to bring the American edition to print in a hurry?
Although I appreciate the imperative to get away from the TV and out of the house, some more diversity in the historical sections would have been nice. I would have loved to have read some stories of brave acts by African Americans and women, for example.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed it. I have heard that a corresponding “Daring Book for Girls” is coming out in time for Christmas. I plan to read that one too — maybe it will be better.
Addendum: here’s an example of the kind of error I’m referring to. On page 161, in the section, “Finding Direction with a Watch,” Iggulden writes, “If it’s summer, wind it back an hour; if it’s winter, wind it forward an hour.” Of course, the second part of that sentence is wrong. If it’s winter, the hour hand points to 12 when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. If it’s winter, leave the setting on your watch alone. Good fact checkers should have caught that.
As for the fustiness, the best example is the grammar section, where Iggulden writes, “The general rule for prepositions is: Don’t end a sentence with a preposition.” That rule may have been popular in the 19th century, when reformist-minded grammarians wanted to make English sound more like Latin. These days, however, it’s the sort of nonsense up with which we do not put.