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The book is set up as a long series of Frequently Asked Questions - sadly, the answers don't extend beyond the typical FAQ format either. It is a very basic bird's eye view of some of the history, religious tenets and practices in Islam.
Given Professor Esposito's resume, I was hoping for a deeper and more coherent religious and sociological perspective. Instead, he remains at the very surface of belief and history.
In addition, he weaves in a steady undercurrent of perhaps necessary, but just very tired-sounding affirmations of the peacefulness of Islam and of the overwhelming majority of those who practice it. That's all well and good, and probably can't be said often enough (even within a single book), but that can't be ALL everyone needs to know about Islam? I, for one, would like to know more.
(Perhaps this is just not meant to be an audiobook... the questions do not build on each other very much, so a lot of information is repeated in various spots. Maybe a good book to have on the shelf for the odd Islam question that might come up, not a very satisfying listen though.)
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam, Second Edition to be better than the print version?
I did not read the print edition.
How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?
There is not a story to change. It is a non-fiction book in question and answer format.
What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?
The presentation was very matter-of-fact.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
I was not particularly moved, however I did learn about Islam.
Any additional comments?
This book describes the main tenents of Islam. The book does tend to make the argument that all of the extremist violence that the world has seen from Islam is the result of misinterpretation. I tend to agree with that premise. However, probably to understand the faith more completely, one should probably read the Quoran. No immediate plan to do that.
Is there anything you would change about this book?
Neil Shah's reading voice is drone-like, the text itself is not at all what I expected. I wanted to gain an understanding of Islam to be able to draw comparisons, to understand why the world is the way it is (e.g. extremist views on one side vs. extremist views on another side). None of this is gleaned. I tried to get on with this book several times, but finally gave up. Its just so dull, dull, dull, dull, dull. Zzzzz.