A groundbreaking, extremely important and totally boring book. Important for the development of Darwin's theory of evolution but otherwise deserving of a pass. I am sure the research and observations upon nature deserve 5 stars. As an interesting read I give it 2 stars. It contains much more information on birds, insects and turtles that I have ever needed to know.
Morley is more than a good writer. His characters are quirky and interesting, his dialogue is bright and seems reflective of Washington Irving and Mark Twain. He holds an all encompassing knowledge of American literature which would put Van Wyck Brooks to shame, his literary opinions are always interesting and his reading recommendations are a much welcome gift. Despite the many good things in the book the ghost story lacks a ghost, the mystery is only marginally mysterious and the romance between an advertising salesman and the daughter of his wealthy client seems tentative.
It is a worthy read for a rainy day when one has nothing else to do but I believe inferior to Morley\'s previous effort Parnassus On Wheels. Recommended with two stars for the story and four stars for everything else.
I read this wonderful book forty years ago whilst at university and loved it. Now that I have found it on ManyBooks I shall have the opportunity to digest it again. Scott was an unusual person with strange prejudices (mostly religious) and a clearly chauvinistic bent. He is however one of the great story tellers of all time. This is the story of a great patriot who loved Scotland deeply and was loved and revered deeply by his followers and friends. The novel is reputed to be a frank and realistic depiction of social conditions in England and Scotland in the period prior to the Jacobite rebellion (circa 1715). Surprisingly Rob Roy is the hero of the novel but not the primary character. Read it slowly and savor every sentence, it is a masterwork in every sense of the word. Highly recommended, not always an easy read but the story is engrossing in the extreme.
William "Cump" Sherman was arguably the best, most imaginative and original general the American army has ever produced. He single handedly invented modern warfare. He was the first to recognize that winning wars was a matter of destroying the enemies economic, industrial and agricultural base, not forcing their army to retreat or surrender as had been the goal of previous generals in previous wars. Sherman changed the face and nature of war. His is the strategy followed by all armies from the civil war to the Vietnam war.
This does not make his auto-biography easy to read or enjoyable however. I have read about 80% of this book and I must say it is tedious, long winded and at times pompous. Those sections dealing with Cump's early life in Ohio and West Point time as well as those dealing with major battles in the civil war are interesting and readable. The remainder is much less so. Although Sherman is listed as the author I find it difficult to believe he did not have help from a political speech writer of the kind we see and hear in the current and previous White House administrations. There are too many words and occasional bouts of hyperbole. I give it 4 stars and urge you to read it if you have any interest in American history. Should you have no interest in history one would be wise to give the book a pass.