Sorry, this entry is only available in Български.
While I was studying in the university I had no too much time to think on fundamental questions, which each of us ask himself/herself (at least during the youth), but after my grandmother and grandfather passed away some years ago and also when I stumbled on the famous Seneca’s quote (http://tinyurl.com/3rh5shc) about the significance of the time, that we have only time on our disposal, made me think very seriously on that matter and I realized, that I cannot formulate clearly what is for me the life, what is its meaning, if I don’t know it, how to find it, how to use in the most sensible way etc.
That’s why I decided to approach to the problem analytically and to look for the answers in books, which consider the above-mentioned topics. Having idea about the theories of the ancient Greek philosophers, I decided that the philosophy is the science, which could help me find the answers. As I didn’t want to read chaotically materials for the philosophical ideas through the centuries, I looked for survey of the philosophical schools and the philosophical evolution through the time. In regards with this, “Sophie’s World” had been recommended to me, which describes the evolution of the philosophy through the ages and which much to my regret (and luck at the same time) couldn’t give me explicit answers to the questions about the life :))
The Bulgarian translation is extremely good (which is white crow for the books published in now-a-days) and this doubles the pleasure from the reading. On a couple of places it was obvious that the translation is from English, but it was not that strong, neither the meaning was lost, so I think it was fine.
This book is from those, which reminds us about the problem, that we are wasting so much time in sleeping, instead of using it to read fascinating and interesting stories like the one described in “Pompeii” 🙂
WARNING, THIS PARAGRAPH UNVEIL THE BOOK’S PLOT: The plot is laid in 79 AD in the ancient city of Pompeii and its surroundings, a few days before the colossal eruption of the Vesuvius volcano. The main character, young aquarius (hydraulic engineer in the Roman Empire, who was in charge of an aqueduct) in the Pompeii surroundings. He has to find out why the aqueducts in the area have run dry and the cities around Pompeii remain without water. While looking for the problem, he stumbles on the issue with Vesuvius eruption. He outlive the eruption, witnessing the burning to ashes the entire city. Of course, there is a romantic story, but it is presented in a discrete manner, and it rather enrich the plot, than to be bother the reader during the reading. 🙂
What I liked in the book is the dynamism of the plot, complexity of the background on which the action is laid (from historical/political/social/architectural point of view), the authenticity of the historical facts and the additional information related to the aqueducts and volcanology as well.
Maybe for the dynamism of the plot contributes the presenting of the main character’s actions on the background with the processes which evolve in the volcano before and during the eruption. Although I’d been read a lot about the tragedy in Popmeii, it was interesting to find more new facts about what happened.
It turned out that the author uses classical and contemporary scientific works in the area of the volcanology, architecture, archaeology, politology, social science, history of the Antiquity and Roman Empire, as well as quotes from many literary/philosophical works from the Antiquity (before to understand about that I managed to distinguish some Seneca’s quotes). Likewise, he has consulted with many experts in the aforementioned areas, which (in my opinion) makes the book highly valuable starting point, for research in various interesting directions as: aqueduct architecture; volcanology (and its relation to the fluid mechanics); evolution of the political system in the Roman Empire; the works of Pliny the Elder etc.
It’s awfully interesting the description of the Roman’s acueducts construction and working mechanisms. So far I haven’t been read anything about them, but it turned out that this is one of the areas in which the Romans were unsurpassed at the time being.
In the plot are woven many interesting facts about the Roman’s homes and cities, as well as their habits, society rules, which additionally enrich the picture, which the author creates.
If one hasn’t read in advance about Pompeii and the volcano eruption stages, (s)he could misunderstand some of the author’s allusions (e.g. the vesicles found in the volcanic ash, which remained from the dead bodies during the eruption).
Incredible book, which describes the part of the Middle Ages, in the course of which is the fight between the state and the church. The general historical events are authentic, as most of the characters in the book are fictitious.
The action is related to the ambition of a prior and two builders (a father and his stepson) to build the most beautiful cathedral for those ages, each of whom driven by his own motives – the prior is motivated by his faith in God, while the builders by the desire to build not just a cathedral, but something harmonious, beautiful and heavenly.
Around the main course of the story, the author managed to create a multy-layered tale, which unveils the thoughts and the feelings of the people, which drive them to take one or another decision, how the decisions influence on another characters. I liked too much by the complexity of the relationships between the characters, woven in the story of the cathedral building and the symbolic and real fights between the counts and church, the church and king, the king and counts. Sometimes the action is too slowly, which is little bit tedious, but it worths the inconvenience.
The process of cathedral building is relatively detailed and logicaly grounded. I was expecting more details about it, but nevertheless I liked it. The evolution of the mathematical ideas is described very well, as the contribution of the arabs to the nowadays building and mathematics as well.
I find the erotic scenes too naturalistic, although very often exactly this description strengthen the motivation of the characters in their decision taking. On the other hand, this makes the book unappropriate for kids and teenagers.
In general the Bulgarian translation of the book is good, but there are common expressions, which are translated literally and in the context they sound strange. For a person, who has an average level of knowledge in English, such translation sounds disappointing. Also the Bulgarian translation has a lot of spelling mistakes.
Interesting book with regard to the relationships between the characters in it. It’s little bit disappointing because of the lack of detailed information about the building of cathedrals, which was expected after so much advertisements…