Monday, February 04, 2008

New and improved

Setting the Desert on Fire is published in the United States this month, over eighteen months after the British edition came out. "What took so long?", I keep being asked.

The short answer is that I rewrote great chunks of the book. The result is a tighter, punchier, more exciting read. T.E. Lawrence now arrives at the outset, and I have now explained more fully why he became involved in the Arab revolt. The diplomatic wrangling that surrounded his arrival in Arabia is now more clear. And, following the very positive feedback from readers of the UK edition, there's more for armchair travellers about my own journey through the region in Lawrence's footsteps, and more of the photographs that I took in the Middle East during my research.

Norton have done a fantastic job and the end result looks stunning. But then I'm biased. There have been a few early reviews so far. Publishers Weekly on November 26 last year described it as "exhaustively researched and vividly narrated." The review concluded: "Barr expertly navigates an intriguing landscape of shifting alliances and labyrinthine politics peopled with eccentric characters to demystify a fascinating legend." You can look here and here for more.

1 comment:

Paddy said...

Congratulations, must be a relief. Hope all is well. Now roll on the next book!