Item description for Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Classic non-fiction) by T. E. Lawrence & Jim Norton...
As Angus Calder states in his introduction to this edition, Seven Pillars of Wisdom is one of the major statements about the fighting experience of the First World War'. Lawrence's younger brothers, Frank and Will, had been killed on the Western Front in 1915. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, written between 1919 and 1926, tells of the vastly different campaign against the Turks in the Middle East - one which encompasses gross acts of cruelty and revenge and ends in a welter of stink and corpses in the disgusting 'hospital' in Damascus. Seven Pillars of Wisdom is no 'Boys Own Paper' tale of Imperial triumph, but a complex work of high literary aspiration which stands in the tradition of Melville and Dostoevsky, and alongside the writings of Yeats, Eliot and Joyce.
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Format: Abridged, Audiobook
Studio: Naxos Audiobooks
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 5" Weight: 0.45 lbs.
Publisher Naxos Audiobooks
ISBN 962634010X ISBN13 9789626340103 UPC 730099001021
Reviews - What do customers think about Seven Pillars of Wisdom (Classic non-fiction)?
a revised edition of the 1922 Oxford Text Jan 7, 2007
First, let me say I do not own this edition, but I have looked through it. I own a copy of the original 1922 Oxford Text of the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. T E Lawrence felt his original text was too long, so he made two revisions, of which this is one. Bernard Shaw felt his original 1922 Oxford Text was a masterpiece needing no editing. Although the revisions do not flow as well as the original text, this is and will always be considered a literary masterpiece. Whether you're interested in history, cultural awareness and/or travel, this will always be an outstanding book.
I had not the patience to triumph over it Jun 19, 2006
This is the book upon which the fabulous film "Lawrence of Arabia" was supposedly based. I expected the book to be the same story, only with more depth and more meat to it. Instead, I discovered two things: the film is only loosely based upon the book; the book is more of a journal than a novel.
Film versus Book: In several instances, the film takes two to five different people and condenses them into one character. More accurately, a character in the film represents one real person, but engages in the activities of two to five different people, whereas the book tries to fairly attribute actions to the right person, creating a much larger cast. This does three things: the film's characters become larger-than-life (which fits an epic film well), this makes the film's story move faster and be somewhat more straightforward than the book's, and this levels the playing field (by condensing the other characters, they are more comparable to Lawrence's character in the film, whilst the book's non-central characters are always in Lawrence's shadow).
Journal versus Novel: The film's story moves linearly and, despite the film's length, the story moves quickly. Only necessary details are shown. In the book, Lawrence gives an account of his daily activities, with sidebar accounts of what happens elsewhere that affects him, creating a very detailed and somewhat disjointed narrative. In my opinion, the story drowns in its own details.
Overall: The film is actually a distillation of this book, and not a cinematic rendering of the same story. If a reader wants to understand the Middle East, from the perspective of an Englishman with sympathy for and understanding of the Arabs, this is an excellent book. If the reader wants an adventure saga, comparable to the glorious "Lawrence of Arabia", look elsewhere or risk disillusionment.
A view of warfare from a bygone era Nov 2, 2005
I will echo the sentiments of previous reviewers in extolling the remarkable style of Seven Pillars...the detailed descriptions of the desert and the bedu bring the reader right into the book. I was taken aback by the distinct differences between the book and the movie, even with having a good working knowledge of this era. For those who only know Lawrence from the movie, please read this book to get a more balanced perspective of Lawrence, and his role in the Arab Revolt. What is not commonly known is that Lawrence did have his detractors, who also published their versions of the Revolt. Of note, Maj N.N.E Bray wrote "A Paladin of Arabia" about Leachman, who Bray believes Lawrence attempted to emulate; and also "Shifting Sands". By having read all 3 books, it might level the playing field, and ascertain some ground truth about a truly remarkable facet of WWI. THis book is a must for WWI history buffs, and also for those who are interested in the emergence of the ARab Nationalist movement, and the origins of how the Middle East came to be what we know of it today. 5 Stars, an amazing read.
Seven Pillars of Wisdom -Op/21 Sep 22, 2005
This is my second round with this book. I read the book while in high school and enjoyed the book very much. This time I'm reading the book for pure enjoyment. I spent time in the middle east and understand the mind set a little better.
Lawrence hits the nail on the head all through the book when describing the way things were and at times continues to be in the region.
the laurence of arabia story Jan 19, 2004
the movie is well known--this is the biography from te laurence detailing the fascinating military life of the british officer amongst the arabs bedouin as they took on the turks. i read a first edition copy of this book and it had some incredible sketches in the book