Official Review: The Curse of the Ancient Greeks

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CarrieMe
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Official Review: The Curse of the Ancient Greeks

Post by CarrieMe » 21 Jun 2017, 01:30

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Curse of the Ancient Greeks" by Faris Nejad.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Curse of the Ancient Greeks by Faris Nejad opens in the midst of the modern Greek economic crisis. The country is reeling: unemployment is high, taxes are higher, and everyone's looking for someone to blame. Panos, our protagonist, has been tasked with reporting on the crisis for a newspaper. As he haplessly searches for answers, he also finds himself struggling to save his job, his family relationships, and more. But most of all, he's struggling to find a reason to keeping believing in the future.

Through Panos, we get an insightful look into the Greek crisis and how it has impacted the day to day lives of the Greek people. From the strikes, to the failing businesses, to the endless bureaucracy and taxes, we see it all. Even better, we hear from different generations and parts of society, getting their views on how everything went so wrong. The novel is ambitious and comprehensive in scope, but rarely does it feel forced.

In the latter half of the book, Panos has a series of online conversations with someone he calls Socrates. These chats quickly become philosophical, as Panos searches for answers about his life and his identity. It was a smart choice to use a chat format for these talks, since it keeps things fairly casual. This part of the book was genuinely enjoyable for me, but it felt a little contrived sometimes. I can appreciate a bit of philosophy in a book, but it would be even better if it were incorporated more seamlessly.

The Curse of the Ancient Greeks tackles some serious subjects, and it would be easy for this to become an incredibly morose book. At times, it's written in a way that almost feels stream of consciousness in style, which underscores the sense of desperation that pervades the novel. However, although the darkness is present, there's also a fair amount of levity. In fact, it often feels like a tragicomedy. Panos is a highly imperfect character, and the situations he often finds himself in can only be described as ridiculous. The absurdity of his life adds some much needed humor to the story without trivializing the experiences of the Greek people.

In the end, this is more than just the story of Panos; it's the story of a nation. It's a tale full of cynicism, but it's also not without some hope. I'm giving this book 4 out of 4 stars, and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the Greek crisis. Even if you don't know much about Greece's modern troubles, this is still a worthy read. If you can appreciate books about people's daily struggles and welcome a little philosophy, give The Curse of the Ancient Greeks a chance.

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The Curse of the Ancient Greeks
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MarisaRose
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Post by MarisaRose » 01 Jul 2017, 13:20

I will admit that I don't really know much about Greek's economic state, but it sounds like this book is an informative while also entertaining. Glad you liked this one so much!
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Post by Jaime Lync » 02 Jul 2017, 16:01

You really sell this book with your review. Thanks a lot for sharing your thought.

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Post by jeminah28 » 02 Jul 2017, 23:18

Thanks for the review, I feel the trouble of the story. For in every nation, there is always a struggle.
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Post by kandscreeley » 03 Jul 2017, 19:10

You present this book well. I really get a sense of what the book is about. Unfortunately I don't think this one is for me. I appreciate the review though.
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Post by BestReviews » 03 Jul 2017, 23:07

Nice review right there. Although I don't feel like I should read the book.

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Post by ChrisD » 04 Jul 2017, 07:28

This is a very good review. In fact, it is so good that makes me certain that I do not wish to read this book! Not because it is not well written or interesting - it seems to be; and the approach, everyday life and philosophical angle, is appealing. Then why? you may ask. Because exactly this is the newspaper approach, the humanitarian approach, the philosophical approach. Well, there is no difference, in consequences, between the Greek economic crisis and what happened in other countries - it is just that this is the first time it happens in a "developed country of the western world" that makes it rattle our intellectual doors and windows; this time it's not so far away. What I would like to read is a book about why it happened (definitely not for financial or social reasons); else, I would find this book definitely interesting. This could happen to your country in few years!

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Post by BookishBookkeeping » 04 Jul 2017, 15:41

I'm not informed about the Greek crisis but this book sounds very informative for a novel and one I want to read. Good job with review.

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Post by CarrieMe » 10 Jul 2017, 18:34

BookishBookkeeping wrote:I'm not informed about the Greek crisis but this book sounds very informative for a novel and one I want to read. Good job with review.
MarisaRose wrote:I will admit that I don't really know much about Greek's economic state, but it sounds like this book is an informative while also entertaining. Glad you liked this one so much!
Honestly, I'm no expert, either! I think that even if you don't know a lot about Greece, this book is still worth a read!

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Post by Snowflake » 11 Jul 2017, 20:43

Thanks for your review. It's helpful to know that there is some levity and hope in the story as well as the cynicism.
peace starts with a smile...

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 15 Jul 2017, 17:08

All I know about the Greek crisis is what I watched on the News.
Time to get some insight.
"The minimum requirement for a dream is a safe place to lay your head."
~OluTimehin Adegbeye

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