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» One Touch Football - Archive » Books » Don't know much about history (novels)...

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Mr. Wind-Up Bird
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I've just finished reading The Dream of Scipio by Iain Pears. It's an excellent novel dealing with a raft of themes from betrayal, anti-semitism, the plague and the early Christian church in France set in the WWII, medieval and late Roman periods. Not exactly uplifting, but very thought provoking.

He also wrote An Instance of the Fingerpost that tells the tale of a murder in 17th Century Oxford with four different narrators. After initial doubts, I was hooked. I also have a book called A Conspiracy of Paper by David Liss which looks intruiging.

What other good novels blending history and narrative would you recommend? Is In the Name of the Rose any good?

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Inca
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I liked The Passion by Jeanette Winterson, though I don't know how many would consider it to be historical fiction. It's set in the past, but it's not really concerned with an authentic representation of the past.

I know that The French Lieutenenat's Woman is supposed to be very good, but I haven't read it.

I also really love The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes.

I'm not sure what exactly defines historical fiction. Most things that I've heard described that sound to me like boring, battle-focused reconstructions, and focus on actual figures. Not really interesting to me in a novel. But I guess you can have a more open idea of a historical novel.

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Soccer Scrimmage
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Try this:

http://www.onetouchfootball.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=5;t=000345

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boris
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Flashman!
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Mr. Wind-Up Bird
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Cheers. That thread has given me a couple of good recommendations. Inca, I do need to read some Fuentes, that sounds like a good start.

This assumes, of course, that I will eventually be unchained from Powerpoint.

Back to work....

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Lardinho
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The best novel blending history and narrative that I ever read was Ivo Andric's The Bridge Over The Drina, which pretty much covers 4 or 5 centuries of post-Ottoman invasion Balkan history in a single novel. And it's also totally wonderful and lovely and one of my favourite books of all.
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Crusoe
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Harry Thompson's This Thing Of Darkness, covering Darwin's voyage.
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boris
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Not forgetting Leon Uris's The Source, of course.

edit - darned ubb code errors

[ 21.09.2005, 16:38: Message edited by: boris ]

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obviously
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Q by Luther Blisset is flawed but still an entertaining read and contains some fascinating snippets of information about what was happening in Europe during the Reformation

Last of the Templars by William Watson is one I read last year that seems to have been republished as part of the 'Dan-Brown-Boom' but I found very revealing on the motivation behind the Crusaders. Decent book, I can be damning with praise..., and one that I've since bought for friends.

Is there a particular time period or geographical region that you're interested in?

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Eggchaser
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Read Hawkwood: Diabolical Englishman by Frances Stonor Saunders.

Not a novel, but a good read and a highly entertaining account of the 14th century Italy's most notorious condottierie and the world in which he lived. Those Avignon Popes, I don't know...

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Inca
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I forgot about E.L. Doctorow--Ragtime's his most famous, and he has a new one out now about Sherman's March that is supposed to be fantastic.
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Mr. Wind-Up Bird
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Thanks again for all the suggestions. I'm hoping I can find some time to check these out.

I'm currently stuck a third of the way through Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough. It's a history of Bonnie and Clyde, the Dillinger gang, Pretty Boy Floyd etc and the formation of the FBI. It should be gripping and has been well reviewed, but a lack of time to read means I keep on having to flick back through the book to figure out who's who.

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