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BOOK REVIEW: The Complete And utter History Of The World by Samuel Stewart Aged 9 – by Sarah Burton

| 6 February 2014 | Reply

The Complete And utter History Of The World by Samuel Stewart Aged 9 – by Sarah Burton
Allen & Unwin, rrp $14.99
October 2013
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
7/10

The Complete & Utter History Of The World by Samuel Stewart Aged 9 - by Sarah Burton cover

It’s an entertaining conceit – what if, instead of an essay on one historical subject of his own choice, 9 year old Samuel Stewart wrote the complete & utter history of the world in all his word-garbling, factual mis-rememberancing, young child’s confident misunderstanding glory!

As such we have an introduction that starts, “The first and most important thing to know about History is that it is very old.”, and soldiers valiantly forth through Ancient Egypt, Rome, Briton and into the Middle Ages, of which Samuel writes, “everywhere anyone looked there was a poem growing and now everyone could understand it… and Jeffrey Chortler [Chaucer], tour guide to the Middle Agers, was destined to become the Best Known Writer the Britons had never read.”

By World War II, young Samuel has hit his stride, stating that “First, Germany cleverly got incited to invade Austria, so it didn’t look like a war, and then it decided to go and ‘visit’ Poland…”, that the Battle Of Briton was between the RAF and the Lufthansa, and that the RAF won “because their planes had better names (ie Spitfire) which is good for morale.”

There are many laugh out loud moments in this book, and many more amusing asides as well. For a frivolous, non-offensive way to while away a few hours in a hammock, you could do far worse.

Shane

Category: Book Reviews

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