Friday, 17 June 2016

Horrible Histories: Frightful First World War by Terry Deary - Book Review

Publisher's write-up:

'Want to know:

  • Why a pair of old socks gave away top German secrets?
  • Why sniffing your own pee could save your life in a gas attack?
  • What the 'Fat King' did with food scraps and dead horses?

Discover all the foul facts about the Frightful First World War - all the gore and more'

The facts known about First World War is very little, especially considering how it was completely overshadowed by the woeful Second World War (an allusion to Deary's subsequent Horrible Histories book). I consider myself to be fairly enthusiastic about history but looking back, I have read very little literature on the First World War as compared to the Second World War and hence, starting off with a Horrible Histories book is a good way to do it.

This book maintained the standard that was expected out of Horrible Histories; weird facts, interesting stories surrounding the war filled with jibes about teachers and school; bringing out the life of the people during the war and above all, managing to convey what exactly took place during the First World War. Moreover, I loved the way the book ended; after all, the first World War was expected to be the last great war when it happened and the end of it was expected to bring peace, but then? (look below)

The key demerit that I found in this book, which is common to many other books in the Horrible Histories series, there is more to the world than the UK, which the author must understand. Agreed, the author also did talk about Germany and the life in Germany but he covered no other belligerents of the war, barring some passing references to the United States. It would have been all right even if it had increased the size of the book by another thirty pages, but given a more clearer picture.

I'd say that the book makes an excellent light read, and is fairly informative, on the first world war, but then, I can't overlook the fact of the author completely turning a blind eye to the other belligerents. So yeah, my rating for the book is a six, considering it was a good read, but could have been a lot better.

Rating - 6/10

Have a nice day,

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