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Publisher's Summary

On June 6th 2004, in a quiet suburb of Riyadh, BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner and cameraman Simon Cumbers were filming a programme on al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia when they were ambushed by Islamic gunmen. Simon was killed outright. Frank was shot and lay pleading for his life. A figure pumped four more bullets into his body at point blank range. Against all the odds, he survived. This is the remarkable account of his agonising journey to where he is today.
© Frank Gardner; (P)Oakhill Publishing Ltd

Critic Reviews

"[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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Margaret
  • 01-15-11

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kim
  • 07-05-07

good listening

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Eleanor
  • 03-24-08

Fab

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Karen
  • 06-18-11

Thought provoking

An excellent listen. Really makes you think about when you are lucky and when you are unlucky.
Very well narrated.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 02-27-08

Compelling!

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • simon
  • 11-20-17

brilliant book

this book is one of my favourite audio books and well worth a listen x

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  • Jaye
  • 08-08-17

Emotional & Gruelling

At times this is very hard to listen to but even with the trials of being critically injured Frank still manages to find glimmers of humour and in my opinion this book comes across as honest and thought provoking. It is a story showcasing Franks love and fascination of the Middle East and he also shows you another side of what is often portrayed in the news. It also shows what you can do especially when yo

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  • Gordon M.
  • 04-29-17

Honest Insightful a must read

A very honest and both inspiring and insightful listen from the author and the narration well presented
Mr Gardner account is detailed brutal and peppered with humour surprisingly
I would both recommend and reread this title to all who would like a more than headline or byline approach to journalism
Many thanks Frank

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  • Gary Hart
  • 12-30-16

Moving & informative

This was a very well told and informative humble account of a both impressive and extremely decent bloke. I would certainly recommend this to my friends.

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  • Richard Smith-Morgan
  • 10-23-16

Like running through sand dunes

What did you like best about Blood & Sand? What did you like least?

Mind numbingly narrated 9 hours for 40 minutes of interest.<br/><br/>Simply not enough material for a book.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Good newspaper article at best.

What didn’t you like about Alistair Petrie’s performance?

Lacked intonation.

Could you see Blood & Sand being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

NA