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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 August 2013
Desert Rhapsody is a good book. It is unusual and interesting in that it explores the culture in pre-Islamic Arabia. As such it explores emotions of revenge, glory, greed, pride, love, dignity, destiny and faith. I liked getting a glimpse of life and culture of those days. I got the feeling that the book was not written to explore the history ad culture of that period and only grazes the surface. I feel that Basheh could have slowed the pace of the book and spent a bit more time on developing/exploring the culture, history and the characters. As it is, the book starts off running and finishes with a sprint. I loved the story and the theme. To me it felt like the purpose of this book is to convey the story with just the facts and glimpses into mentality of people at the time and to let the readers make up their own assumptions and theories, the book does this very well.

The book revolves round the character of Harb. It follows Harb through his life as he grows from a simple warrior to a leader of an empire, a husband an a father exploring emotions of greed, glory, love, pride, destiny...and comes to a full circle with the demise of the empire, himself and his family. It explores the identity and roles of men and women in that period.
It is a good read and I would definitely recommend it.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book in order to review it"
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on 11 January 2014
Desert Rhapsody is a difficult book to classify.
It is not a history book yet it fills in the blanks, by finely portraying an epoch we tend to forget about in our world history books, vividly bringing to life the culture and traditions of the 6th century tribal Arabian peninsula.
It is not a philosophy book yet intimately written as the private spontaneous ruminations on behalf of the characters involved, shedding a realistic light on the philosophy, believes and culture of the time.
It is not a romance book yet we feel for the troubled love lives of the characters or for the friendships full of respectful devotion.
Following the rise of an individual from a mere tribal warrior to a powerful leader of a confederation of many tribes, the book narrates the birth of his dynasty and a legacy to hold, where private affairs become political strategies.
I received a copy in order to review the book.
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