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I've read many great books about the Middle East (by authors like Lawrence Wright, David Fromkin, Rory Stewart, Michael Oren, and Peter Hopkirk) and this one ranks right there with the best of them. Green is a masterful storyteller - I found myself running, cleaning, and doing my laundry solely to listen to it! As he crazy-glues you to the book (or your headphones in this case), Green deftly covers every important influence on the Nile watershed in the late nineteenth century - British, French, Egyptian, and Ottoman politics, slavery, the scramble for africa (Egypt wanted to be a colonial power too!), the British media, Sudanese religious practices, and great vignettes of about ten or so main characters. The only thing he leaves out is the American civil war veterans' quiet but profound influence on Egypt's military and education practices (see Oren's Power, Faith and Fantasy on that).
In addition, Stephen Hoy is one of my top 5 favorite narrators, and I've heard at least 25. His reading is awesome. You will love this book.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
I like the narrative for the emotional framing rather than historical accuracy, emotional narrative makes a history very entertaining, so I'd suggest one to read this as a well researched historical novel than serious history, the book captured the spirit and inherent contradiction of British imperialism incredibly well. Loved it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful