Book Reviews

Sarum: Edward Rutherfurd

A masterpiece of breathtaking scope, from the Ice Age to the present day, Sarum traces the entire turbulent course of English history through the epic saga of five families.

The Wilsons and the Shockleys, locked in a cycle of revenge and rivalry for more than 400 years; the Masons, who pour their inspired love of stone into the creation of Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral; the Porters, descended from a young Roman soldier in exile; and the aristocratic Godfreys, who will fall to the very bottom of the social ladder before their fortunes revive.

As their fates and fortunes intertwine over the course of the centuries, through struggle and adventure, their greater destinies offer a fascinating glimpse into the future.

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0099527308
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Arrow; New Ed edition (4 Jun. 1992)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 1344 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780099527305
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0099527305
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 11.2 x 5.2 x 17.7 cm

I really liked the book, especially the first third, as it went from the first tribes to the first organised settlements and then into Roman times.
The following sections kinda lost my interest a little bit and they became a bit hard to read so I’m thinking maybe, maybe, instead of publishing a wrist-breaking 1300+ book like the Stand, why not split it up in multiple ones, with periods and eras in each.
Some parts, I found I simply could not put down, other parts of the book I have to say I found dedious and it became an effort to plod through them. As each chapter is like a novella in itself, at the start of each one, the reader has to get to know the characters again and ‘get into’ the story. This can at times be a tad confusing as many of the characters, being from the same family line, have similar or the same names despite them being from a different generation. I also found that most of the characters didn’t provoke any real feelings from me, as the reader is really only getting a ‘snap-shot’ of each of them. I do wonder whether this would have worked a little better had it been a serialisation across a number of books.

It’s not bad but still, I don’t think I’ll be reading it again so it will have to go into the charity bin.

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