Thursday, January 9, 2014

Book Report 1/9/14

Currently Reading (fiction): The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest by Steig Larsson

I’m about halfway through this novel. Definitely the weakest of the three. Salander is not as interesting a character when cooped up in a hospital room as she is running around loose creating chaos. And Blomkvist just seems to be going through the motions, working to help Salander but not developing much beyond a one dimensional character. So far the novel just follows too many threads of too many rather bland characters. At least Zalachenko and Niedermann provided some interesting villainy in The Girl Who Played With Fire. Most of the antagonists in this book appear to be bureaucrats.

Currently Reading (nonfiction): Carthage Must be Destroyed by Richard Miles

Finished the most interesting and possibly the most anticipated chapter in the book, In the Footsteps of Heracles. This covers Hannibal’s march from Spain to Italy, across the Rhône and over the Alps, and the many battles fought against the Romans on Italian soil. Even though Hannibal lost more than half of his forces in transit, it was nice to see things generally work out well for the Carthaginians. Of course the Romans made so many mistakes that you almost feel sorry for them. That the two commanders of the Roman army at some point not only disagreed over strategy, but took turns commanding the army every other day was clearly a recipe for disaster. It all culminates in a huge Roman defeat at the Battle of Cannae, which may have led to the downfall of the Roman Republic had Hannibal been a little less cautious.

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