Thursday, September 24, 2009

Book Review Time

I'm currently in the middle of a book entitled, "Or Perish in the Attempt." The title kind of gives the flavor of the work. It's a history of the medical aspects of the Lewis and Clark expedition, what health problems they encountered, what medicines they had, what happened to the people. The title of the book is kind of a breathless gasp of admiration for the men, which I share, but it's a little melodramatic for me.
I mean, I'm enjoying the book tremendously, because of all the things I'm learning, but it is a clumsy, uneven book. The author will stop in the middle of the narrative to give a lecture on the history of malaria. Sometimes the tone is ponderous, sometimes it's flippant, and there doesn't seem to be any reason why the author chooses the particular tone he uses.
Still and all, I'm learning a lot about the discovery expedition, which reinforces my belief that the Lewis and Clark expedition was America's greatest adventure to date.