The Farfarers by Farley Mowat

After finally finishing this book my only overwhelming feeling is…

HA!

Perhaps final conquest isn’t the best of reviews…

Parts of the book I found completely fascinating and surprisingly, for lack of a better term, relevant. I’d have thought that a book about the first Europeans that may have made it to North America (predating the Norse) and the why’s and hows of how they got here would be information that would be filed away in my brain as interesting but mostly useless and ultimately forgotten.  As it has turned out I’ve found relate-able material  in all sorts of areas since I started reading it. After all when you span Scandinavia to Newfoundland from 5000 bc to the 1400’s that’s a lot of history and  a lot land covered, I guess it’s bound to come up somewhere!

On the down side the book has a tendency to be a bit of a dry history book at times. Contrasting this was a fictional account following a group of people, the Farfarers, as Mowat takes you through the times. I expected this part to be much better than it was,  and it turned out that that was my least favorite part of the book.  As more of a glimpse of what life was like than an actual story line  I found it just to be annoying. Also it had a tendency to be ridiculously graphically violent for no apparent reason. I never need to read descriptions about heads being chopped in two, ever.

Would I recommend it? Not for the average evening read but if you’ve any interest in this part of history or even seafaring history in general, it’s an interesting worthwhile read. However I would not recommend you leave it in your child’s room and read it while nursing her to sleep, this will cause it to be read in snippets over a ridiculously long period of time so that when you finish it all you’ll have to say is…

HA!

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