Lara's Reviews > An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and Warrior in the Period of the Crusades: Memoirs of Usamah Ibn-Munqidh

An Arab-Syrian Gentleman and Warrior in the Period of the Cru... by Usamah Ibn-Munqidh
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Dec 07, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: biography-autobiography-memoir, history, non-fiction, read-in-2012, religion, egypt

Man, this was cool! Since it was written in the late 1100s, I was expecting it to be pretty difficult, but it think it helps that this is a modern translation, and also that, other than one section that is a eulogy, it was apparently written in a fairly casual style. I found it really interesting. A lot of it is details of battles with the Franks, or battles with lions or other wild animals, and sometimes that got a little old, although at times it was pretty entertaining. There is also a section on the character of the Franks that was kind of fascinating. And I loved his poems towards the end, about being an old man and not being able to fight Franks and lions anymore. I didn't expect the humor, I think, but I found myself laughing several times at various descriptions of events, or at obvious exaggerations. This certainly doesn't read like a modern adventure story or anything of the sort--it's more like listening to your grandfather meander his way through memories of his past: "It reminds me of this other time, when something similar happened..." But I found the whole thing kind of delightful.
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Reading Progress

December 7, 2011 – Shelved
December 7, 2011 – Shelved as: history
December 7, 2011 – Shelved as: non-fiction
December 7, 2011 – Shelved as: biography-autobiography-memoir
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: read-in-2012
January 3, 2012 – Started Reading
January 4, 2012 – Shelved as: religion
January 4, 2012 – Shelved as: egypt
January 4, 2012 –
page 30
11.32%
January 5, 2012 –
page 60
22.64%
January 6, 2012 –
page 70
26.42%
January 9, 2012 –
page 78
29.43%
January 10, 2012 –
page 100
37.74%
January 11, 2012 –
page 121
45.66%
January 12, 2012 –
page 143
53.96%
January 14, 2012 –
page 171
64.53%
January 15, 2012 –
page 171205
100%
January 15, 2012 –
page 205
77.36%
January 15, 2012 – Finished Reading

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