Book #22: The Spiders of Allah

From the cover and various descriptions it's easy to see why Spiders of Allah is being touted as "Gonzo Journalism" in the vein of Hunter S. Thompson. But the book, written by James Hider, is a different sort of beast altogether. Focusing less on the author's atheism and more on the fanaticism of the various battles in the Middle east, what Spiders of Allah provides is an insightful look at how belief can be twisted into evil, and how non-belief makes it so impossible to understand. As a Christian who DOES happen to believe, I'm always fascinated by well-written books from a different viewpoint, and Hider, who's had plenty of experience as the Middle East Bureau Chief for the Times UK, makes for a very interesting narrator.

This is a fine book that opts for travelogue more than straight reporting, and it's the better for it.