Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?" But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll, Rudyard Kipling - Tommy.
Iíll start this review by pointing out that this book was my own choice to review. Consider it, if you will, an experiment on my part to see if an author could take a subject which could be considered a little, how shall I put this, dry, and create an enjoyable book.
Now that thatís out of the way, letís get on with it...
John Norris has taken the subject of military drumming and, Iím pleased to say, created a book which is enjoyable to read. The narrative, if somewhat erratic, is engaging and informative, the research thorough and his explanations of the relevance of his subject to the historical setting are well thought out.
He covers a great deal in the 154 pages of this book, taking us from Ancient Egypt up to the modern day and, whilst he gives us only the most tantalising of glimpses into the lives of drummers in each period, he does an admirable job of fitting a great many facts into such a short piece of work.
What lets the book down is, without doubt, the editing team. The spellings, punctuation and, on occasion, words are quite often wrong. Now, I understand that this is the first edition of the book and Iím sure these editing errors will be rectified, but I will admit that at times they had me reaching for the tobacco and taking a break in order to preserve the structural integrity of the book.
I also found the authorís timeline to be slightly sporadic. Whilst the book is split into chapters by historical period, Norris does tend to flit back and forth as the mood takes him. Whilst Iím not averse to the whims of authors taking me on a circular journey through time, on occasion I found Norrisí habit tedious, especially when it led to repetition of facts stated earlier in the book.
He also has a habit of listing names and exploring the men behind them in only the briefest of senses. Whilst Iím sure this is the result of the fact that the book is a short one, and nothing to do with lack of research, I found myself wanting more from the personal side of the book.
Having said all this, I must say that, on the whole, ĎMarching to the Drums
í is an enjoyable book and for those interested in the subject itís well worth a read.
3 Mr Mushroomheads
Soggy4978 Marching to the Drums
by John Norris published by The History Press Ltd Click here to buy from Amazon