This is a fascinating story about war in the 21st century. True stories about actual people makes for gripping reading. However, the book sort of peters out, rather than concluding. No more than a superficial account of the aftermath, for either the participants or Iraq, is included. I would rather have had more discussion of the place of this battle in its historical setting. Perhaps the author believed, and it may be true, that such discussions would detract from the drama of the events. Nevertheless, a worthwhile read/listen for those interested in current history.
This is a travelogue, pure and simple. However, Twain uses it as a vehicle to display his sardonic wit at its best. It is amazing that after 150 years, much of the interaction with traveling companions has changed not one bit. Any international traveler will immediately sympathize with the petty annoyances Twain describes, and realize current experience is not really much changed. Now, the speed of transport has certainly increased, and no one nowadays can take the leisurely six months off described here, but the bureaucrats Twain tangles with, and the multitude of demands for "bakshish" will be familiar to anyone.
The performer did not do justice to Twain's style; in my opinion, Twain is more like Andy Rooney, which the narrator did not seem to appreciate. Still, great to listen to in the car when you are traveling anywhere.
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