Sometimes, there are some things that put me off about a book. Many of them are obvious within the first few pages of the Bin Ladens. The conspicuous consumption, the high living on the part of those portrayed in the book. And there's the fastidious nature of the book itself --- sort of a litany of events. Maybe the rest of you liked it, but for me it was a distinct turn-off. This was a book I could put down --- fast. There are lots of other books on the library shelf and I'm going to read them instead.
In this family epic, Mr. Coll, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, creates a psychologically detailed portrait of Bin Laden and his relationships with his father, Muhammad, who made a fortune in Saudi Arabia as the king’s principal builder; and his older brother Salem, a British-educated, music-loving playboy, who used to organize family expeditions to Las Vegas. Mr. Coll suggests that Bin Laden’s turn to war against the United States was not inevitable, but the result of many factors. Those included his worsening relationships with the Saudi royal family and his own relatives as well as growing anger at America, which had pressured the government of Sudan to expel him from the country (where he raised horses and sunflowers on a farm while training jihadis) and send him into exile in Afghanistan in 1996.
I read this in 2009, and it has stayed with me. This is an in depth look at where Bin Laden came from, and the family that shares his name, but not necessarily much else.
ernestt thinks this title is suitable for All Ages
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