Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Maya


Rating: 2 Stars


It's always a bummer when I think I am really interested in a topic and then after one book about said topic, I am completely unsure if my interest is waning or if the writing is just that dry/dull/etc.

In this case, I think it is that the writing is just that dry and I felt like I was reading a textbook. Now, before you say, "But it's non-fiction!" I should point out that I read non-fiction almost exclusively these days and have for quite some time. And this...I just could not get interested in it. Even the pictures started to look the same after a while, and that in itself is sort of depressing, because usually maps and pictures are a welcome relief when the writing is too bogged down by the author's extensive knowledge. I realize that one would like their non-fiction writers to be knowledgeable and I appreciate the fact that Coe is beyond well-versed in his knowledge of the Maya. However, there is just SO MUCH that it is almost too much. Perhaps the problem is I have very little background knowledge of my own and thus my very shaky foundation can't hold what was delivered in this text. Unfortunately, due to its dryness, that foundation is not much sturdier now that I've finished the book than it was before.


I want to reiterate that the content itself, the facts and knowledge contained in this book, are certainly great. Coe certainly knows his stuff. I always struggle when rating books below 3 Stars, perhaps because it is hard to truly judge someone who has clearly sent the time and put in effort to make the best product they can. It was just hard for me to keep focused while reading this one, I had to take breaks often otherwise I might have given up altogether, simply because I found it to be  very dry read. If the Maya are of interest to you, please do not let this deter you, as you might find something different than I did.

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