This book is pretty much what the title says it is. Clever and in parts hilarious writing, but not for children because a) they probably won't understand it, and b) there is some naughty humour and language here and there. It certainly should not be bought as some kind of history text book, even though the author clearly knows quite a lot about world history.
I particularly like the little quizzes at the end of each chapter. Thus the quiz titled 'Test Yourself on the Greeks' is 1. If Britain introduced the Athenian practice of ostracism, which popular presenter of Top Gear would be exiled first? 2. Would ten years be enough?
(Maybe you have to be British to appreciate this one, though I believe Top Gear is broadcast worldwide and is hugely popular, so then again maybe not.)
Here is the quiz for the chapter titled 'The Renaissance and the Reformation': 1. If Calvin founded the Calvinists and Luther founded the Lutherans, who founded the Bay City Rollers? And why? 2. When was the last time you enjoyed a really good renaissance? Do you find it happens less often now you're older?
We also learn later in the book that the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 was caused when Castro "invited the Russians to come to his island to build a new high-class beach resort. The resort was to be equipped with all the latest Communist luxuries and comforts, such as flushing toilets and live nuclear warheads."
Well, I suppose you either enjoy this kind of humour or you don't. But for me it is a fun book.
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