Sunday, April 05, 2009

Sunday in the South

One of the benefits living down here is that it's usually really nice in April, but the weather forecasts say there may be snow tomorrow. At the very least, it'll be cold (won't make it into the 50s). It's been raining intermittently today, keeping me inside on one of my off days. Bah humbug.

#30 -- "The Road to Kosovo" by Greg Campbell

If I'd been a little speedier I could have hit #30 in March, giving me an average of 10 books per month for the first three months, and establishing me as a grade-A nerd. But I missed out.

I didn't really expect to like this, and it lingered on my shelves for a really long time. It's not usually referred to among the top books on the 1990s conflicts, and it was published by Westview Press (of Boulder!), which usually runs a bit more scholarly than suits my taste.

Surprise, surprise: this is really good. It's a blend of personal narrative, history, and analysis, and all three are done well. Campbell is both sympathetic and cynical without going too far into either. He's got a sly and dry wit that suits the material well and is never inappropriate. His experiences in a nasty time in a scary part of the world are played down; he never comes across as bragging. I was engrossed, and I learned some new stuff about the region -- no mean feat after going through my Balkan bookshelf.

Add to all of this, Campbell is or was in the Boulder area (he was in Longmont when I lived there last), and we actually have some mutual acquaintances, so I really do suck for never trying to meet the guy. Bah, again.

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