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Publisher's Summary

This New York Times best-seller is the astonishing life story of award-winning humanitarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali. A deeply respected advocate for free speech and women's rights, Hirsi Ali also lives under armed protection because of her outspoken criticism of the Islamic faith in which she was raised.
©2007 Ayaan Hirsi Ali (P)2007 Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Crammed with harrowing details, Hirsi Ali's account is a significant contribution to our times." ( Kirkus Reviews)"A clearly written and fascinating account of exceptional courage." ( Library Journal)" Infidel is a unique book, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a unique writer, and both deserve to go far." ( The Washington Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Tough, Candid Assessment

The first half of this book details the coming of age of the author. The second half covers the issues of her public political life. The story is told in a sensitive and candid way, at turns both antagonistic and tender.

The underlying premise is that Islam, when practiced in a way consistent with its writings and history, is essentially about power and control rather than about peaceful pursuit of God.

But more importantly, it is a call to attention that to place high value on others' cultures without a critical evaluation of them is dangerous. Tolerance doesn't always optimize primary values in either the foreign or host culture.

The value of this book is broader than just its evaluation of Islam. Its highest value is in its call to think and speak clearly regardless of the political winds that blow.

I remember reading a quotation recently (but cannot remember the source) that "if 50,000 people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing." That is certainly part of the message of this book.

55 of 56 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jonnie
  • Panama City, FL, United States
  • 09-16-09

Incredible and inspiring story.

This is a very inspiring story. The details are what made it so interesting to me. I wish she would have had a professional reader instead of reading it herself. It took me several hours before I could understand most of what she was saying. I almost gave up after the first hour or so but there was enough there to maintain my interest. Once I became acclimated to her voice and enunciation I realized this was an incredible story. It was worth the effort to persevere and understand her. You will learn a lot about the Moslem faith, not the sugar-coated public relations version of it being a religion of peace but how it actually impacts people's lives, especially women, in a negative way.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ella
  • toronto,, Ontario, Canada
  • 11-27-08

Incredibly Eye Opening

I finished this book about a week ago and am well into another book, however I find my thoughts reverting back to Infidel. I cannot get over how this brave young woman was able to trust herself so completely to know that everything she ever grew up with and was taught was fundamentally flawed. This is a must listen. It is haunting, inspiring and scary. We could all learn a lot from Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The most important lesson is to trust yourself and your feelings. Then have the courage to stand up to, and against all who try to tell you that you are wrong.
This book will teach you, inspire you, empower you to have faith in yourself and take steps to no only help yourself, but help others who are experiencing the same injustice in the name or religion, government policies, or sexual discrimination. Please don't pass this one up.

29 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Story that Needed to be Told

This was one of those books I heard about some time ago, in fact a couple years ago, by a friend but never got around to reading it. It continued to be in the back of my mind that I should really read it but I (for whatever reason) simply never got around to doing it. I finally was able to get around to it.... And I must say.... This is one of those titles that makes you re-evaluate and seriously rethink some things.

I love titles that are self narrated. I always believe books that are self narrated by the author generally comes from a genial place and leaves a more lasting impact on the listener. You can be rest assured that the feeling that the author is trying to get, the emphasis on key terms and portions of the title will not be list due to someone's sometimes misguided interpretation of their work. It can be a clear and direct view of what the author themself was trying to express. And in such a highly personable title such as this, Ayaan Hirsi Ali did herself a great service by taking on this title herself.

The story was one that after you finished going through it, you thought that it was a story that needed to be told. Her life was extraordinary yes but so many parts of it is simply typical in the lives of women in the Middle East that it simply is a very sad and sobering truth. You understand where she is coming from with the title of Infidel and you can't help but root for her after seeing the triumph she experienced at various parts of the book. Obviously though the scars of certain situations will never be erased but that can't be helped when you have lived the life she has.

The book speaks such truth, of the sobering kind that I left this book reeling from all that I had to absorb. Truly a great title! I would recommend this to anyone.

32 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • zman
  • Baltimore
  • 03-23-08

Enjoyed it!

I really enjoyed listening to this book. It helped that author was the narrator. Her journey is absolutely amazing.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Must read/ listen

Very moving, as well as informative. good listen for anyone who is interested about Islam and religion oppression. To hear it from the voice of the author makes the experience more fun. being from Ethiopia myself, it feels like i was hearing the story of my Muslim neighbors and friends. Ayaan personality and life experience is well presented in this book.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderful book!

This book moved me so much! Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a woman to be admired and listened to. A must read!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Amazing Woman, Amazing Story, Wonderful Voice

This is one of those cases of an audiobook far exceeding an already great book. So much of Hirsi Ali's sincerity, intelligence and humanity come across through her wonderful voice, it makes her amazing life story more moving than it could ever be in print.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • John
  • Troy, MI, USA
  • 12-20-07

Great Book Read by Author

Infidel is a great book by a heroine. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is very intelligent and wise. Her life story is a warning to the free world. The fact that she reads her book makes it even better. Once you get pass the early years, the story moves fast and keeps interest.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Maryola
  • Farmingdale, NY, United States
  • 01-02-09

This takes courage to publish

After getting through the accent, I was awakened to a naked truth that this woman is telling us. It is our responsibility as free women and people to look into matters of abuse, torture, and slavery that comes with following a religion that does not allow thinking and questioning. All religions are based on words that are written by men, and used to keep people in check. I am amazed in the transformation and the courage this took to brake away from the teachings of her clan and her culture. I wish I could do something to help these women from this culture, sometimes the unknown is more scary than living with such restraints of culture.

I recommend this book for a glimpse into a world that most Western Countries have no clue to.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful