Regular price: $35.00

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Ten powerful pieces first published in The New Yorker recall the path terror in the Middle East has taken from the rise of al-Qaeda in the 1990s to the recent beheadings of reporters and aid workers by ISIS.

With the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower, Lawrence Wright became generally acknowledged as one of our major journalists writing on terrorism in the Middle East. This collection draws on several articles he wrote while researching that book, as well as many that he's written since, following where and how al-Qaeda and its core cult-like beliefs have morphed and spread. They include an indelible impression of Saudi Arabia, a kingdom of silence under the control of the religious police; the Syrian film industry, then compliant at the edges but already exuding a feeling of the barely masked fury that erupted into civil war; and the 2006-11 Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Gaza, a study in disparate values of human lives. Others continue to look into al-Qaeda as it forms a master plan for its future, experiences a rebellion from within the organization, and spins off a growing web of terror in the world. The American response is covered in profiles of two FBI agents and a chief of the CIA. It ends with the recent devastating piece about the capture and beheading by ISIS of four American journalists and aid workers, and how our government failed to handle the situation.

©2016 Lawrence Wright (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Wright displays his top-notch reporting in stories about a disintegrating Syria, the never-ending conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians, the faith-based beliefs that undergird al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, and the massive failures of American intelligence agencies. Yet more great work from a dedicated journalist." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    130
  • 4 Stars
    58
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    127
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    110
  • 4 Stars
    60
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Contains much old material from "Looming Tower"

I'm a huge fan of Lawrence Wright - I've read The Looming Tower twice and I thought Going Clear was excellent.

I was very disappointed with The Terror Years which reuses a huge amount of content that can be found in his earlier works. This includes the first three chapters of this book, which covers the stories of Al-Zawahiri, John O'Neill and Ali Soufan. Given that I reread The Looming Tower in anticipation of The Terror Years, I was particularly annoyed to be wading through tales that I had just finished reading a couple of days before.

Then we get into new stories which are great, especially the story on terror plots in Spain - classic Wright - but then again we end up regurgitating old material in the later chapter on the dispute between Al Zawahiri and Fadl.

If this is your first Lawrence Wright book, then it's great. But if you're coming to it looking for a sequel to The Looming Tower, you'll be disappointed, and perhaps left feeling you've been a little bilked.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Factual, but soft

Prior to this book, I listened to "Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS". I found both books to be similar in that they both distill a lot of information into a well put together linear narrative. They both seem very well researched, well written, and very informative. However, where I found them to be different was that this author seemed to have written in the style that came across as attempting to be somewhat persuasive. And books like this I always prefer an informative, neutral account I have no problem with his humanizing Siri and civilians, but found some of his word choices to be a bit soft in regards to the scribing accounts of terrorist activities, Terrorists themselves, and Fidel Castro in the epilogue.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Reporters experiences

There's were parts of this book I enjoyed more than others. I thought it would be more historical, which it is, but it's more stretches of the authors personal experience mixed in with stretches of pure nonfiction, historical record. Some useful information to take away and learn about the region, but it bounced around a bit as a result.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

All was well but in prologue was bad

Overall okay and well researched but you can see the prejudice coming out in few places

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Difficult to follow

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I found the information difficult to follow even though I'm an avid audible listener. There are times when I said to myself why is the title of this book is what it is. And I could not answer it.

What didn’t you like about John H. Mayer and Lawrence Wright ’s performance?

Not an issue here.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Terror Years?

It needs to get focused.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Terrorism can be understood.

A fearsome education becomes reality as we learn the A - Z'S of fear mongering on the world stage.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

cia did not create the internet.

lotts of good information. Historical perspective is much appreciated. A few mistakes i think but overall a very informative book.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Terror Years

Greet compilation of the rise of terrorism before and after 9/11

Excellent narration. Good driving listen

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Still great, but not quite Looming Tower

Would you listen to The Terror Years again? Why?

Maybe, if I have questions regarding the subject matter and I want to review.

What did you like best about this story?

Incredibly well researched, nobody does their homework better than Wright.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the surviving hostages explained their experiences and how they felt about the people who were left behind and eventually killed.

Any additional comments?

I was hoping for more information regarding the founders of ISIS similar to what Wright did with Looming Tower.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Book!

Very informative book outlining different aspects of the War on Terror. Easy to listen to!