53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Sands of another time,
By A Customer
This review is from: Arabian Sands (Travel Library) (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.