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Publisher's Summary

The 13 chapters of The Art of War, each devoted to one aspect of warfare, were compiled by the high-ranking Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher Sun-Tzu. In spite of its battlefield specificity, The Art of War has found new life in the modern age, with leaders in fields as wide and far-reaching as world politics, human psychology, and corporate strategy finding valuable insight in its timeworn words.

Aidan Gillen - who has learned a thing or two about strategy through his roles as skilled manipulator Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Game of Thrones) and ambitious politician Tommy Carcetti (The Wire) - brilliantly performs this ancient classic. His experience in portraying insightful and, at times, cunning characters makes him a natural fit for this ancient collection of battlefield epigrams whose influence has grown tremendously in the modern world.

Public Domain (P)2015 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5.0
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Aidan Gillen needs to narrate more books

What made the experience of listening to The Art of War the most enjoyable?

The narration

What did you like best about this story?

The simplicity, the sensibility that Sun Tzu brought to chaotic war.

Which character – as performed by Aidan Gillen – was your favorite?

...

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Please have Aidan Gillen narrate The Prince next, and really anything else. This man could read a phone book and I'd pay for it.

51 of 54 people found this review helpful

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Great performance

This ancient text may apply to many people's work. Anyone who works in a competitive environment can benefit from it, even if only a little. Even if you can't benefit from it, this work might help the listener to understand historical works dealing with wars better.

The reading is excellent. Aidan Gillen does a great job reading the text. I don't know if it's because I've been watching Game of Thrones for four seasons, but it sounds like he's using a kind of Littlefinger voice here, which adds to the effect. I'd recommend this audiobook to pretty much anyone, even if they don't have an army.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful

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A classic text, read well

This is a classic text and the narrator fit it well. If you are interested in strategy this is a required text.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Clever and extremely enjoyable

Stroke of genius having Aidan Gillen read Art of War. His gentle Irish brogue is tough yet alluring. And as a fan of GoT, I can see Littlefinger conspiring over this document and making these words his own. Well done!

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyed this reading.

Enjoyed the reading. Very well presented!👍👍. Was thankful for the AUDIBLE 50% SPRING cleaning sale. Thank you for the presentation

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Littlefinger brings it home

Aidan Gillen delivers a great performance and keeps the listener interested and engaged through out the entire book!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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BANE?

He was a big guy for me.

And he had a lotta loyalty for a hired gun.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • E.
  • 07-14-15

Great Book

the book is very well read. I had an easy time listening. Thank you Audible.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Much still applies today in the corporate world

I didn't know what to expect when I began listening, but have been pleasantly surprised by how much of this book can still apply to today's corporate world. Knowing yourself as well as your enemy will allow you to win a thousand battles ... the five fatal flaws of a general ... how to treat your soldiers ... even the use of spies. Good stuff packed into a small book.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Scintillating

A tale of wonder, godspeed Tsu, I applaud your life and words. May you always keep the high ground, even in death.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan Lloyd
  • 07-03-17

Inspiring

I really enjoyed this. Excellent book and Aiden Gillen an inspired choice as narrator. Full marks all round

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Duffield
  • 02-04-17

Very Informative and Excellent Performance

Didn't recognise the actor's name but when I recognised him I thought it was an excellent choice. He has a very dry and engaging voice.

It was quite informative and I like all the definitions e.g. intersecting ground. I think I'll have to listen to this again so that all the points sink in.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Rex Osafo-Asare
  • 08-23-16

Timeless Reading at its best

Aiden Gillen does a great job of narrating this classic. Many are the transferable tactics, strategies and mindset towards any business, political or economic venture worth pursuing. Definitely worth investing in!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristoffer
  • 01-19-18

Fascinating!!

Incredibly performed. Compelling story with loads of interesting points.

Its an essential, you must read this! Its even at a low price

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  • Rafel
  • 01-18-18

short, strategy oriented old guide. it's ok.

the narrator its ok and the book is ok, it's about strategy millenniums ago so, not that useful. It has strong messages with diverse meanings and I found that I could put some of the advice in my personal life. but as said, short and old.

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  • Mr. R. V. COPE
  • 01-09-18

Master of War

Would you consider the audio edition of The Art of War to be better than the print version?

I've never read the print version but have always wanted to. I'd still like a copy so I could go back and study certain tactics, but I understood everything in the audio version.

What other book might you compare The Art of War to, and why?

Bushido? Only because of the historic aspect and the fact that it teaches you a way of life & war.

What about Aidan Gillen’s performance did you like?

I couldn't think of anyone better to narrate than Aidan Gillen. As soon as I saw that he was the narrated I instantly bought it. He adds a level of cunning and guile that is required in a tactician and no other narrated could have pulled off.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

This isn't the sort of book you could turn into a film - a documentary though. Perhaps "War is barbaric, War is an art"?

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  • stuart
  • 12-29-17

excellent

something I've intended to read for a while, and Aidan Gillen gives an excellent delivery. I'm looking forward to listening to this one again already. The insight into the nuances of war, and the intricacies of character that allow success or failure, is one that can be appropriated to many aspects of life.

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  • David Willingale
  • 12-28-17

Timeless

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I bought this audiobook. I had heard of the Art of War and always wanted to read it, as any book that was written more than 2000 years ago and still holds reverence must be worth reading (or listening). The book seemingly offers very generalised advice to military leaders (no pun intended). However in my understanding of the text there are much wider applications of the wisdom shared by Sun Tzu, namely patience and the value of self reflection. As such this book transcends any notion that it is merely an ancient text on military stratagem and is much more akin to allegorical philosophy.

Adian Gillen’s ‘performance’ was excellent, although I have not listened to many audiobooks so I’m not sure what a good performance constitutes. That being said, he has a pleasant, cool and clear voice that resonates well with the text. Although I concede that at times I couldn’t shake the sense that, Petyr Baelish ‘Littlefinger’, was reading this book to me especially when speaking about spies.

There is no story and as such I marked it as five stars. It seemed to make more sense than marking no stars.

Very much worth the price paid, I didn’t use my token though. I thought it might be a waste given it was so cheap to buy.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-02-17

Proud to have him as a guide. Thank you.

Exceptional book. Take this and apply it metaphorically to any area of your life and you won't go far long. Thank you Master Sung.

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  • Christopher Moore
  • 11-23-17

Well Read, Didn't Live Up to the Hype

Aidan Gillen does an excellent job of reading this book, and makes each chapter much more of an experience thanks to his skill.

I suspect that I may have harbored quite high expectations for the book itself, mainly because it's a huge cliche that intelligent people quote it in the media of our time. It is mainly just a list of concepts about ancient warfare, some of which carry over into modern life in the form of metaphor, but realistically, it won't make you a more insightful person...

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-08-17

And you thought he ran a solid bordello?

Littlefinger narrates The Art of War. 'nuff said... except these seven words required for review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Duane
  • 08-15-16

An inspiring if somewhat dated read

Though references to banners & chariots may betray the relevancy of Sun Tsu's insight in daily life, the art of war is a truly fascinating read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Zendegi
  • 08-02-16

Wonderful production

A wonderful and engrossing reading of the great classic. Be careful not to become to lost while walking however.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 05-23-15

Perfect union of ancient and fictional strategists

I truly enjoyed this translation of The Art of War, both the strategies and tactics themselves and the way Sun Tzu's hands the advice down. Indeed the content is often dry, with absolute clarity with each factor and situation described; there is no room for ambiguity. Somewhat surprisingly to me, I found the lack of fanfare both engaging and refreshing.

My darker sense of humour is tickled when Giles describes outcomes for the weakest of leaders. I am sure Giles detected a tone of disdain in sections within the original. Some sections feel slightly repetitive, but the flow of the chapters and the overall message remains intact.

As an avid fans of the Game of Thrones television, I'd argue no other character plays the cold strategist as does 'Littlefinger'. He is stone-faced in both planning and execution of his political agenda; even the few bouts of passion seem only a dramatisation for the benefit of the ruse, and not genuine emotion at all. This is why I believe the reading by Aidan Gillen is so perfect for this book.

With Gillen's voice already associated with the detached persona of Baelish, the delivery parallels the cold strategic and tactical content. Hearing Gillen speak of 'utter disorganisation' and 'the coyness of a maiden' caused me to chuckle quietly, highlighting again the precise matching of the reading to the text.

LAST WORDS: If you have ever enjoyed an episode of Game of Thrones, and found yourself having even a single enemy, do yourself a favour: spend 67 minutes listening to this engaging performance of a most important work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 07-20-17

as Sun Tzu said "You should read this book"

a great book with a fantastic reading from everyone's favourite game of thrones spy master!

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  • Andrew
  • 07-09-17

Awesome

This was great! well read, good insights and knowalge. Get into the Art of War...

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  • Lincoln
  • 06-28-17

Very in depth.

I was amazed by the amount of detail, awesome book. I recommend it to those in the business of business.

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  • Kate Mancini
  • 04-18-17

awesome!

a great performance, enjoyed the telling of this text! Aiden gillen is a fantastic narrator

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  • J.Robertson
  • 03-21-17

The voice of GoT!!

None better I think for a performance like Aidan Gillen's voice!

A man whose voice is fit for the narration of a classic like Sun Tzu.

The book is highly revered because of its timeless wisdom in dealing with ones enemy and helps a person to look inwardly and to self examine ones own understanding of themselves and to then negate the reaction and instead make the calculated move.

Thoroughly enjoyed this rendition of the book.

If a con, I would of preferred if the book was broken up just a touch more between each point. Although the reading was seamless, it was hard to comprehend each point because it moved so quickly.