Review: ‘In the Land of Giants’, Max Adams

In the Land of Giants: Journeys Through the Dark AgesIn the Land of Giants: Journeys Through the Dark Ages by Max Adams
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

High 2.5.

I think this work is too complicated to follow easily — it is not only a travelogue and narrative history but also stretches a bit into modern politics but more into archaeological descriptions. While individually all of these may be very enjoyable, the book was missing structure.

I was hoping that this book would act as a (relatively) straightforward guide to post-Roman Britain. However, what happens is that we get plenty of disjointed stories which are interspersed with landscape descriptions, but we are also actively engaged in the defining of these stories. It was very difficult to keep track of what’s going on.

This is lamentable as Mr Adams’ writes well. The stories he brings to use from say the 7th century still carry their evocative meaning. And, his landscape descriptions are similarly apt. I do not even disagree with the sense of understanding history through walking the paths the ancients would have taken, to try and understand what’s going on through their eyes.

But, this book didn’t deliver for me. Nevertheless, I might have another go at it sooner or later.

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