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Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.

Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#1 by AbbyC
» 20 Nov 2016, 16:23

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Dancing Barber" by AC Michael.]

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4 out of 4 stars
Review by AbbyC
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Title: The Dancing Barber
Author: AC Michael
Genre: Historical Fiction

The Dancing Barber starts off with three consecutive plot lines in the City of Bradford, North England: Klem an undercover reporter for the Ukraine group known as 'Katya' has gathered thirty years worth of proof that the Ukrainian genocide did indeed happen.
Halyna, friend of Klem and wife to the local ballet master, is on strike due to her husband's poor gratitude and laziness in reference to everything she does.
Taras, local ballet master and owner of the attic where Klem lives, is working his troupe hard in preparation for their big performance of Swan Lake that could very well be their ticket to fame and fortune.
But from there the story expands. Lenka and Zena are coming to visit their sister in Bradford from Chaplinka, Ukraine with some important family secrets to share. Sofia is a disgruntled ballerina who simply cannot get Taras to notice her ability to dance. Oksana, the overweight bully at school. Ivan, the owner of the houses in the subdivision and the local tyrant. And the mysteriously anonymous man. Soon the plot encompasses the entire town plus some more.

Full of humor and adventure intermingled with the simple peacefulness of daily life, the story weaves you skilfully through each story, tying everything up and piecing it all together. Almost nothing is left undone or unexplained. And it's amazing to see all the different ways everything does tie together. I'm not going to spoil it but it was pretty impressive. From dancing to action, spies to cooking, this story had a little bit of everything!

It's also full of history. So few people are aware of what happened in Ukraine 1932-33 and the effect it had on the people. The man-made famine brought on by Stalin and his regime struck Ukraine hard and with devastating consequences and then they managed to hide it for years beneath their propaganda. The very heart of the Ukraine people has been written into this book. From their traditions to their problems and their fight to be heard. It was a really amazing story!

The characters were amazingly well written. They blended with their settings and never fell through the cracks. Everyone brought in had a place and a purpose. It was amazing to see how even the more insignificant characters added a new layer to the story. And none were flat. Everyone had a story and a purpose and they all felt so real.

With great editing (there were a few minor errors that were more due to the digital formatting) and fantastic writing not to mention plot and cast, I easily give The Dancing Barber 4 out of 4 stars. This has to be one of the best historical-fictions I've ever read! Honestly it's right up there with To Kill a Mockingbird and The Book Thief.

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The Dancing Barber
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#2 by MarisaRose
» 22 Nov 2016, 09:11

Great review! At first, the blurb about this book doesn't seem to interesting to me, but reading your review changed my mind! I'm happy to hear that everything ties together at the end - nothing more dissatisfying than an open ending!
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#3 by kimmyschemy06
» 22 Nov 2016, 09:37

I, for one, would like to know what happened in 1932-33. So, naturally, I find this book very interesting. I really hope I get the chance to read it. Good job on the review.
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#4 by AbbyC
» 22 Nov 2016, 13:28

MarisaRose wrote:Great review! At first, the blurb about this book doesn't seem to interesting to me, but reading your review changed my mind! I'm happy to hear that everything ties together at the end - nothing more dissatisfying than an open ending!


Thanks! And I agree, I hate open endings which is why I was really pleased with the way this one wrapped up!

-- 22 Nov 2016, 13:34 --

kimmyschemy06 wrote:I, for one, would like to know what happened in 1932-33. So, naturally, I find this book very interesting. I really hope I get the chance to read it. Good job on the review.


Thanks so much! I hope you get to read it too because the details it has on the Holodomor, or Terror-Famine, are amazing and eye opening. Plus the book was just a great read over all!
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#5 by e-tasana-williams
» 22 Nov 2016, 13:35

Thank you for the great review! Your enthusiasm for the book clearly shines through; good job! I know almost nothing about the Ukraine, and your review has me interested. I'm adding this one to my Want To Read list. Congratulations to the author for getting such a great review. It must have been difficult to create humor from such a disturbing historical time, let alone master several plot lines in the process.
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#6 by NicciH
» 23 Nov 2016, 07:39

Excellent review. I am always up for a good history lesson and why not learn while enjoying a well written book.
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#7 by Kdonegan91
» 26 Nov 2016, 13:34

Such a well-written and exciting review! You can feel your excitement and love for the book while reading your review. After reading the information on Amazon, I was not interested in this book. However, you have changed my mind! I hope to read this soon.
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#8 by gali
» 07 Jan 2017, 07:49

Great job on the review! It certainly had me hooked. I like the combination of "humor and adventure intermingled with the simple peacefulness of daily life". Congratulations to the author on the positive review!
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#9 by ChillAndRead
» 07 Jan 2017, 08:24

Great review! Good to know there are good historical books out there!
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#10 by Julie Ditton
» 07 Jan 2017, 08:37

Thank you for writing such a great review. It was well thought out and provided just enough information to get me on the hook. I am definitely adding this one to my list.
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#11 by grammy57
» 07 Jan 2017, 09:59

Full of humor was the draw for me. I need something to enjoy at this time.
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#12 by bluegreenmarina
» 07 Jan 2017, 10:01

This seems like a very fun way to learn a bit about a time in history that wasn't in any way "fun" and that takes a rare skill. I am excited to see what the author does with such a rich setting - thank you for the detailed review!
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#13 by jamesabr
» 07 Jan 2017, 10:08

This book's subject on Ukraine during the early 20th century appears to be a fascinating way to learn about the country's history. The shift in perspectives sounds the most intriguing. Thanks for the review!
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#14 by mindyg123
» 07 Jan 2017, 10:08

Great review. Congrats on being BOTD. I always like reading about history and the Ukraine during Stalin sounds like history that would interest me and with all the seperate characters tied in makes for a more satisfying read.
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Re: Official Review: The Dancing Barber by AC Michael

Post Number:#15 by hsimone
» 07 Jan 2017, 10:57

Great review! You had me at The Book Thief! I love the concept of this story and the fact that the author teaches what happened in the Ukraine during 1932-33. I actually don't know this piece of history, so I'd be curious to learn.

Thank you for sharing and congratulations to the author for receiving such a positive review!
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