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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
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.