The third review (in Booklist)

The third review is now out, and also very good. The previous two (the one in Publishers Weekly  and the one in Kirkus Reviews) were perhaps a bit more gushy.

It appears in Booklist, which, as my publisher tells me, is a publication for the American Library Association — in other words, something that influences what librarians buy and stock. That makes it, like the other two, a “pre-pub” review. (I am learning a lot of jargon in this process. Pre-pub reviews when I lived in London meant checking your breath and hair before heading out to the … pub.)

Unfortunately, you need a subscription, and I don’t have one, to get the link. But I was sent a transcript, and here are excerpts (emphasis mine):

Here’s an intriguing premise: show, through the life and career of the Carthaginian military genius Hannibal (and other history-makers), how the line between success and failure can sometimes be blurry, not to mention how success can turn into failure when least expected, and vice versa. … Kluth’s main thesis seems to be that triumph and tragedy, success and failure, are merely points on a line, and that we make our way in life by cultivating the ability to turn failure into success and recognizing that success can breed failure, if we’re not careful. This isn’t the first book to tackle this subject, but its historical perspective, drawing on the life of a warrior who lived more than two millennia ago, gives it fresh appeal.

“Points on a line”. I don’t believe I used that metaphor anywhere in the book. I like it!

See? I’m already learning from my reviewers.