I'm a big fan of Tim Moore's books, and the "do some wacky stuff then write about it in an amusing way" genre as a whole. That said, his previous effort Nul Points, about the history and characters of the Eurovision Song Contest left me cold – in fact I never even finished it. So I was a little nervous about this very latest tome, which has a similar historical bent, rather than a completely asinine caper at its core  (like pilgramiging through Spain with a donkey – quite an ass-inine caper). I needn't have worried.

The world of living history (historical re-enactment is perhaps a more meaningful term to most) turns out to be a rich seam ripe for comedy mining. Certainly more so than going to visit a Norwegian who once sang on tele. Fighting as part of a Roman garrison against the Gauls, living the life of a Tudor chamberlain and a succession of other historical roles present a cavalcade of hilarity, mostly sourced from the usually very committed people involved and his own struggles to fit in and be authentic. There are some truly laugh out loud moments and the book is fairly un-put-downable.

Will you learn a great deal about history by reading this book? Probably not, but you'll learn a lot about historical re-enactment. I was really surprised by some of it, especially the authenticity of the violence! Tim was too, clearly.

Final verdict: A cracking example of the genre and highly recommended. I hope the next one is as good.

Here are my favourite other books of his:


1 Comment

  1. I look forward to reading this one, but you’ve missed my favourite TIm Moore book off your list: Do Not Pass Go. A fantastic mix of travel and history writing as he travels around London visiting all the places on the Monopoly board. Well worth reading!

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