Wednesday, 15 July 2009

FACTUAL REVIEW: The Dangerous Book of Heroes - Conn and David Iggulden


From the co-author of the bestselling 'The Dangerous Book for Boys', this is a book of heroes, new and old, known and sadly forgotten, now to be glorified as they ought to be. From Captain Scott to Joe Simpson, from Douglas Bader to Ernest Shackleton, from Gertrude Bell to Emily Pankhurst, Conn Iggulden brings our great heroes from history back to life. Filled with the British sense of fair play and decency that made 'The Dangerous Book for Boys' so popular, 'The Dangerous Book of Heroes' celebrates those who fought for what is right and good, those who made amazing discoveries, those who moved boundaries in their lifetimes. A book of heroes written by Conn Iggulden, a man who knows what makes a hero.


Whilst we’re fans of Conn Iggulden’s fiction and we enjoyed his Dangerous book for Boys we did wonder what exactly was being done with this book of heroes. First of all there’s not a lot binding these people together and could perhaps have served better had it been split up into separate chapters such as The Unsung Heroes, the Adventurer’s, Military Heroes etc. That would have perhaps kept it more cohesive as well as allowing people to be able to enjoy separate chunks as their preferences kicked in. What also annoyed us slightly was the fact that the images were all modern drawings that were perhaps more to keep costs down than to give an illustrative personification of the relevant characters to the reader. It might have been better to use photo’s or even to have used paintings. We’d also like to argue for having arranged the people via timelines so that it would be easier to see who appeared where with perhaps an image that had each of the names and when they appeared in history so that you could see who overlapped who and the time period specifically.

Finally one other thing that we thought was a bit lazy was that some of the chapters had quite long titles whereas others were just a name, it would have been better to go with one or the other and not as higgledy-piggledy as it appeared. Whilst the writing does go into depth about each person/event featured, the information is something that you could pretty much discover on Wiki or online if you had such a desire and seemed to be a cheap way to cash in on Conn’s name. A great shame to be honest and we do wonder how many fans it will turn off his other writing which has been a breath of fresh air to the historical fiction genre.

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