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Johann Sebastian Bach by Rick Marschall

11 May, 2011

I am reviewing Johann Sebastian Bach (a book, not the musician) for the BookSneeze blogger program.

I enjoy a good biography but this was not a good biography. I really did not enjoy this book, for two main reasons.

Firstly, the content of the book is very dry. It is full of dates and the names of people, places and pieces of music but tells us almost nothing about them. It is factual history with nothing of personality. I feel like I am reading a dry textbook instead of a biography written by someone who was genuinely interested in Bach.

The second reason I did not enjoy this book is the poor sentence structure. I learned early on that if you have to read the sentence twice (to understand it), it is a bad sentence. This book, sadly, contains far too many sentences that are awkward, unclear or poorly worded that it makes reading far harder than it should be.

One thing I did quite enjoy about the book was the recognition throughout the pages that the person and music of Johann Sebastian Bach cannot be understood apart from his faith in God. As I understand, other modern biographers have omitted this portion of his life, but it is included in implicit or explicit ways throughout the whole of the book.

Overall, I would rate the book 1/5 stars.

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