How to Mellify a Corpse by Vicki Leon
“How to Mellify a Corpse” is a look into some of the science and superstitions of the ancient world, focusing on Greece (mostly Athens), Rome, Mesopotamia, the Holy Land, Egypt, and Carthage. Leon tries to mix humor with discoveries in science, math, music, and politics, with the great thinkers and odd ducks of the ancient world.
Except I thought the humor really fell flat. I could very clearly see the passages from “How to Mellify a Corpse” that were supposed to be funny, but they all felt to me like they were trying a little too hard. I have the feeling that Leon is actually very funny in person but, for me, it didn’t translate well into “How to Mellify a Corpse” and, if anything, sort of annoyed me. Leon really is sharing some pretty interesting information, but I thought the flat humor detracted from what would have otherwise been interesting facts. I also would have liked the individual stories to be set up a little better. I was often not exactly sure what the point was until I reached the end and, even then, was not exactly sure why I should care. Obviously tidbits of amusing history don’t need a long, complicated story-arc, but I still thought there was a little something missing here in the execution.
Interesting, but not as much as I would have liked it to be.
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