© Frank Gardner; (P)Oakhill Publishing Ltd
"[Gardner's] terrible experience only makes his analysis all the more telling." (Evening Standard)
"He paints his love affair with the Middle East in vivid terms. His struggle with paraplegia as a result of his wounds has not diminished his affection for the area." (The Herald)
wether or not you listen/watch the news, this book is enthralling, the information is absorbed without realisation that you might have actually learnt something!.
Informative without being boring.
The narrator is well spoken, no stumbling over words, easy to listen to.
In short, a really good listen
Consummately well read, the book grabs you from the first scene - the shooting of Frank Gardner and his cameraman in Saudi Arabia. There are many other almost equally impactful passages, especially near the end of the book when Gardner describes, unsparingly but always with great courage, his medical treatment and the effects of the shooting on his life. However, equally valuable is the picture he paints of the Middle East, depictions of Arab countries and cultures generally unfamiliar to Westerners which he gained access by his fluency in Arabic and his thirst to know and experience them as much as possible from the inside.
Gardner ends his book hoping he may have contributed in some measure to a wider appreciation and understanding of the Arab world by these 'insider' portraits, and personally I felt he had opened windows and illuminated ideas which previously I had only dimly considered - in connection with spinal injury as well as with the Middle East. It is an absorbing, many-facetted book which I totally recommend.
I loved this book, it was a pleasure to listen too - the story was harrowing in places but funny in others. A great mixture, entertaining, harrowing and informative. All in all - well done and congrats.
A great read (listen?). The narrative is both compelling as an autobiography and full of information which helps those unfamiliar with the regions and individuals he describes to build up a clear picture of places, events and personalities.
I listen to audiobooks in the car and often found myself deliberately taking the long route so that I could listen to more of this book on my trips!
The dedicated 'arabist' may find that some of the mis-pronunciation of arabic words names and places grates occasionally but overall this is not a reason for putting this on your 'must have' list.
Mind numbingly narrated 9 hours for 40 minutes of interest.
Simply not enough material for a book.
Good newspaper article at best.
I loved this. I'd always known Frank's work and knew the basics of what happened to him in Riyadh, but this book gives the backstory behind the man. As a fellow Arabist, I connected with the story of his earlier days and how he developed his interest in the Middle East. The only criticism I have is that Frank's story is obviously far from over, although it's possibly too soon for part two. I'll definitely read his recently released novel, though, as I love his style.
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