© 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)
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"gripping and enlightening"
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.
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
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.
An excellent listen. Really makes you think about when you are lucky and when you are unlucky.
Very well narrated.
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.
"A wonderful book"
Informative, and so so moving. What a brave, and knowledgeable, man. And beautifully read by Mr Petrie. The sort of listen you don't want to end
Insightful, informative and inspirational. His depictions of the Middle East are so rich. A fascinating insight into the Arab culture. A remarkable story of recovery and overcoming great adversity.
"Remarkable in every way"
Excellent narration, including Arabic pronunciation when required, with a voice remarkably similar to that of the author. It sounds very authentic, like Frank Gardner is sitting in the room telling the story to a group of friends.
Any by John Simpson, who's also reported from war zones. Or Kate Adie.
He narrates well throughout.
No. Parts are quite demanding emotionally in that there's genuine suffering.
A fascinating insight into Gardner's life so far, remarkable in every way. Brings the reality of reporting fom areas of conflict into perspective for those of us who sit at home and watch. An incredible account of the injuries he suffered and how he dealt with a transformed life, but this is only a small part of the book.
"Blood and Sand - Travels through troubled lands"
Enjoying, as I do, stories from braver people than me, detailing travels in dangerous lands and trying to survive when things go very badly wrong, I was inevitably drawn towards Frank's book. But I found myself enjoying it for many, many more reasons than the rather childish and sensationalist target I set for it from the outset.
This is a deeply intelligent look at a region that, although written about almost 10 years ago, (there is an updated version in book-form) is still sadly relevant today and probably will be for many years to come. It is a deeply harrowing book at times and the last third is deeply moving. A book for anyone interested in learning more about the job of a foreign correspondent, it is also a fascinating and enlightening study of the Islamic and Arabic world as well as the rise of Islamic Extremism.
I expect many will begin to listen to it, as I did, expecting a well-written travelogue through a beautiful yet troubled land and it is certainly this, however I would not hesitate to call it a modern 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom'. Hearing about Frank's slow recovery and that separate, yet equally harrowing journey, is not just moving and inspirational when trying to view it from his perspective, but it certainly puts things into perspective in one's own life.
"One of the best listens in a long time.."
I was surprised at how well Frank Gardner managed to fire up my interest in a subject which can be very hard to understand. I have grown to admire FG very much.
I thoroughly enjoyed Alistair Petrie's narration. Top marks to him.
I found Frank's story very hard to 'put down'
The English accent makes my day every time :-)
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