Hi! My name is Anna, "You'd really like me if you got to know me. I've known me for years and I love me."
Word count: about 60 000
This book almost drove me crazy. It's supposed to be an introduction, so one would probably assume it'll be written in a conversational manner and full of maps and pictures to give dimension to the endless, mercilessly tricking stream of names and dates. No. Such. Luck.
I knew what the author was talking about. I already knew a bit about Celts and it was my second time reading this book (I decided to give it a second chance since previously I read it at a bad time). I hoped that this time around it would be better. Well, it turns out my first impressions were spot on.
What is wrong with it?
1. I find your lack of maps disturbing. I don't give a fuck how much you talk about Danube valley; if you don't give me a map, it means nothing to me. I switch off. It's impossible to read a procession of names and dates that are not tangible. Put some fucking maps in, will you? I'm not going to run around my house looking for various maps. Just fuck off. It's your job to make it work. You're writing a freaking introduction. Introduction! So you must assume people who read it don't know shit.
2. Also pictures. You're talking about art and weaponry? Print a drawing of it! I don't need pretty, shiny, colourful pictures, but give me something. You can't talk about material culture without that. You can keep on describing to me a clay pot till kingdom come, and still showing it would be more comprehensive.
3. I know you're a serious researcher. I do. I don't need you to prove it to me by maintaining an even, dry, and emotionless tone. Can you believe the author used no exclamation marks? Like literally none! Make it more conversational. Put in some colloquialisms, maybe even *gasp* a joke, a sarcastic remark, a musing (?) at least... SOMETHING! Change your tone. That was one of the most dull writing styles I had 'pleasure' to read.That man shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the keyboard. He killed the language, mistreated it. You take something remarkable, fun, versatile and decide to ruin it. Brutally murder spirit of the words. That should be a criminal offence.
Yes, there were few maps and pictures (I believe they just got lost on their way, frankly). Yes, the author makes a few significant points about our gleefully careless usage of the world 'Celt'. The story of misguided circle of mutual adoration (Victorian historians and linguists) is most definitely worth hearing. He just tells it in a shitty way.
It's worth knowing that a theory of Celtic invasion of British isle was developed by a linguist and had NO archaeological support (and very little linguistic evidence, while we're at it). It's worth knowing quite a bit of 'evidence' was made up. It's certainly nuts, to think that researchers joyfully build upon each other's claims (not even findings) and felt no need to challenge the existing theories; or to admit there are many ways of interpreting the data.