165 of 175 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
An important and beautifully produced book, 2 Feb. 2011
Right from the off, with a blistering opening set in 70AD as the Roman general Titus lays siege to Jerusalem, this is a well-paced and absolutely gripping read.
Early on Simon Sebag Montefiore tells us that a story of Jerusalem is, really, `the story of the world'. If at the beginning I was sceptical, by the end I was not. What stops Jerusalem from being a Wikipedian succession of kings, rabbis, muftis and patriarchs is the author's elegant and consistent ability to supply fascinating characters - the kind of characters you might not expect to find in a book like this. For every despot - and there are plenty - Sebag Montefiore gives us a rake, a bungler or an eccentric. Just as Jerusalem emerges as a place of religious intensity, it is also a city addicted to vice.
An important and beautifully produced book. Highly recommended.