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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Eugene on 23-12-12
Hard to Start, then Astonishing
The Seven Pillars of Wisdom is written in what feels like a rather arcane, Gothic-style sermon-like English. This seems an odd choice because T. E. Lawrence is felt to be a modern figure in British history: his story is set during the mechanized 1914-1918 war, but in the middle-east, rather than the trenches of Europe. The book, because of its style is difficult at the start, but then through its moral complexity, its astonishing closeness to the motivation and events of the the life of T. E. Lawrence, the story becomes compelling. At its heart, and what makes the book profound, is the fact that is a moral journey within war, not just the memoir of a skilful soldier, or a story of blood and guts. In the end the intricate reading, and the polite British style of the reader, all make for an emotional and astonishing story. It is very good to have this audio-book and while its length and its complexity takes some effort to embrace, this challenge matches the scope of the story, the quality of the writing and the understanding it gives to the reader of T. E. Lawrence, and the books as a basis for an understanding of the contemporary politics and struggles of the present middle-east.
28 of 28 people found this review helpful
By T. on 27-04-13
A reading that opens the door...excellent
I had tried to read this a couple of times and given up. Lawrence's prose seemed of another era, a challenge to battle through. Whilst listening I went back to my hardback to check something, and was reminded of my difficulty reading it. Somehow the narrator picks it off the page and makes it compelling in a way I could never do when trying to read it. It was fluent, gripping and Lawrence was brought to life in a way I could not have imagined after those abortive attempts on the text myself. This really makes a compelling case for the audio format.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Stevie on 11-01-13
One of the greatest stories ever told.
Would you listen to Seven Pillars of Wisdom again? Why?
Yes. I have been listening to it again. This memoir has so much detail, and so much happens, and it is so full of strange sounding names of tribes and tribal leaders and places, and so much intrigue, that it is possible to thoroughly enjoy going through it once to get the big picture and then go through it again to go over the details you missed the first time and still thoroughly enjoy it the second time!
What was one of the most memorable moments of Seven Pillars of Wisdom?
There are so many it is difficult to choose, and so much variation. I love the descriptions of Auda of the Abu Tayi and his various exploits. He is such a larger than life character, its almost difficult to believe that such an extraordinary person ever lived. The way Lawrence wrote about Auda, he seemed clearly in awe of him. Some of the battle descriptions are quite grim, but particularly disturbing was the description of his capture and torture by Turkish troops.
What about Roy McMillan’s performance did you like?
I thought he did a fantastic job. His accents, his timing...I couldn't fault it.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
I laughed on a few occasions, but more often I found myself going "ewww".
Any additional comments?
One of the things that is striking about this book, particularly bearing in mind when it was written, is that it is very personal and honest and Lawrence lets you see inside his head and often enough you would rather not look but he was such an extraordinary and strange man you can't stop yourself listening.
23 of 24 people found this review helpful
By Anniebligh on 25-10-12
So thankfull T.E.Lawrence wrote this book
Roy McMillan reads this so well.
As the book was written for others. that could perhaps explain if one needs explanation, why this book is so intimate. It has the feel and resonance of letters from a friend.
Roy McMillan captures this.
Also Lawrence's style of writing, what he writes about, moving through the experiences, the people and events and places that all contribute to a great account. He was an archeologist working in the Middle East before being asked to work with the Military Intellegence.
The pdf is helpfull, giving times and chapters as well as a simple map. If you are like me you will find some excellent links through Wikipedia and well, just surfin. So I have listened once since downloading and spent as much if not more time searching the web.
The events in 'Seven Pillars' are almost 100 years old. The decisions of Super Powers of the day, still influence us today.
While a lot has been written about the man, it is good to hear or read his own account. Keeping in mind he was with the British Military Intellegence at the time there are no doubt many things he did not write about.
And yes, I am thankfull Lawrence wrote Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Armed with better maps and Bio's my second read will be very slow.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful