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Arabian Sands (Penguin Classics)
 
 

Arabian Sands (Penguin Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Wilfred Thesiger , Rory Stewart
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Product Description

Review

"Following worthily in the tradition of Burton, Lawrence, Philby and Thomas, ["Arabian Sands"] is, very likely, the book about Arabia to end all books about Arabia." -"The Daily Telegraph", London "The narrative is vividly written, with a thousand little anecdotes and touches which bring back to any who have seen these countries every scene with the colour of real life." -"The Sunday Times", London

Review

"Following worthily in the tradition of Burton, Lawrence, Philby and Thomas, ["Arabian Sands"] is, very likely, the book about Arabia to end all books about Arabia."
-"The Daily Telegraph", London

"The narrative is vividly written, with a thousand little anecdotes and touches which bring back to any who have seen these countries every scene with the colour of real life."
-"The Sunday Times", London

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1042 KB
  • Print Length: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reissue edition (25 Oct 2007)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0010SKSYY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,748 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
128 of 129 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book features in my top ten favourites of all time. Thesiger, a quintiessential eccentric English explorer describes in this book five years spent with the Bedu of the southern Arabian Peninsula. Thesiger lived as a Bedu, he adopted their dress, walked barefoot and learned to settle into their rigid, almost ritualistic patterns. Thesiger developed a very deep respect for the Bedu as he believes that the harder the life led the purer the man, and there are not many lives that come harder than those of the Bedu. After all T.E. Lawrence described their daily struggle as 'a death in life'. During his time with the Bedu Thesiger twice crossed the Empty Quarter (Rub 'al Khali) with camels by a longer and more dangerous route than that taken by Philby and Thomas previously. Thesiger and his companions were lucky to have survived as they found themselves without food and water and a long way from a well that none of the Bedu had been to before and that only appeared on Thesiger's notoriously inaccurate map of the region. Equally fortunate was Thesiger managing to avoid the search parties of Omani tribesmen intent on driving him out of their territory, perhaps even to kill him, because he was a Christian. This is an incredible book, describing unimaginable hardships as if they were mere inconveniences, and giving a fascinating insight to a way of life that has all but disappeared as the Bedu trade in their camels for 4 wheel drives. Read this book, it is brilliant.
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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sands of another time 7 Dec 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is a difficult book to read if one is looking for excitement, but an absolute gem for anyone who wants to get inside the world of the Bedouin of over half a century ago. Thesiger's prose is spare and discerning and flows through the book like sand through an hourglass. He describes a world that no longer exists; indeed, was on the cusp of change as he made his travels in Arabia. The people he travels with are continuing a way of life that has remained unchanged for millenia but would not survive the following decades.
The life Thesiger describes is hard, unforgiving existence tempered by the bond he forms with his Bedu hosts. His descriptions of his Bedu friends are sympathetic without being effusive and his admiration of and love for them shines from every page.
Forget Lawrence and his silly posturing, if you only ever read one book about Arabia of old, this should be it. It left me inspired but, I must confess, somewhat ashamed that the god of oil and mammon should have destroyed a beautiful and unspoilt way of life.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent 5 July 2007
Format:Paperback
As the reviewer above points out, anyone reading this book will not find excitement leaping from the pages but this is not the objective of the book. People reading it particularly from western countries should reflect on their own lives and how it is in such stark contrast to a way of life which has all but disappeared, for this is Thesiger's message. The book retells the authors' crossing of an inhospitable region of desert in southern arabia known as the empty quarter and his travels around the surrounding area. Full of small anecdotes which illustrate the points Thesiger makes perfectly, the way in which it was written should be commended. A truly magnificent book which has certainly made me think a little deeper.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb 13 Aug 2008
Format:Paperback
Before visiting relatives in Dubai I thought I'd select some holiday reading with an Arabian flavour and so happenend across Wilfred Thesiger's 'Arabian Sands'.

Thesiger's simple style of writing magnifies the barren beauty of the desert regions he crossed and his intimate descriptions of his Bedu travelling companions were enhanced by the wonderful selection of black & white images included in the volume.

The austere and ascetic ways of the desert nomads of half a century ago are in stark contrast to the affluent materialism evident in much of the region today - a change mourned by the author in his preface.

A wonderfull book, rich with the author's passion and respect for the desert and it's Bedu inhabitants. Highly recommended.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars very poor editing 15 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the great classics of travel. It gets one star here because of the unbelievably slovenly careless editing in this edition - so many spelling and other mistakes. I'm amazed Penguin let it out in this state. Poor old WT would turn in his grave if he could read it. Any one interested in travel writing should own Arabian Sands - but not in this Kindle edition.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but don't get the kindle version 7 Dec 2012
By hfffoman TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There are two problems with the kindle version. First, the maps are unreadable. This destroys the whole purpose as the maps are essential for reading this book and there's not much point using a kindle if you have to carry around an atlas.

Second, kindle version is littered with typographical errors and at times they get very annoying. I don't know how it reached publication in this state. If anyone else has an error free version please let me know as it would mean there is something wrong with my kindle.

That said, I loved the book. It was fascinating to read about a people whose beliefs and ways are so different from ours that it was tempting to cast a bad judgement upon them but gradually I found a deeper and deeper sympathy and admiration for them. The result was both uplifting and sad.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!
One of the most entertaining and enjoyable books I have ever read. Thesiger writes with such simplicity yet leaves the imagination wondering.
Published 1 month ago by P-L
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
travel writing at it's best
Published 4 months ago by FrancisKy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Read
It's the small details in this book which tell so much. I have lived in Saudi although not with the bedu and it's a wonderful place. Read more
Published 4 months ago by raj mc grath
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
EXCELLENT!!!!!!
Published 4 months ago by tombombadil
5.0 out of 5 stars A clasic book
This book gives an interesting and detailed account of the authors travels through the empty quarter and his dealings with the many tribes that existed in this bbc area of the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by rockape
5.0 out of 5 stars Review
A classic tale that can be read and read over and over again. Composed in a time when political correctness did not exist and therefore an honest and interesting book.
Published 7 months ago by Michael G
5.0 out of 5 stars Arabian Sands
An excellent book on the background of a TV programme, history in print of an amazing character showing all the strengths & adventure in some people.
Published 10 months ago by compulsive reader
5.0 out of 5 stars a totally different environment portrayed
a most interesting account into a very different culture (of its time).
I picked this book following a contemporary TV programme in 2013
of a trek to mimic this... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr. A. M. Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent reading
I've been very fortunate in having trekked the deserts of the middle east and I'm familiar with several of the locations in this book. Read more
Published 11 months ago by S. Moores
5.0 out of 5 stars brillent
a very informative book. easy read and just amazing how he tells you about his travels well worth a read
Published 11 months ago by adrienne
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