This book is quite possibly the best work I've read, or listened to, on the topic of Islam. The entire work is a conversation between Sam Harris, an outspoken critic of religion, and Maajid Nawaz, an activist who's work involves bringing Islamic extremists back in the mainstream. The purpose of this work is to show the reader how a respectful conversation about this delicate topic should go, and how difficult questions can be answered.
What made this conversation so valuable, and so incredibly poignant, is that it is a respectful conversation, about a difficult topic, between two intellectuals who started off on not-so-friendly terms. Their relationship grew and they decided to co-author this book. The authors are not only respectful towards one another, but also towards the religion of Islam, at least in my opinion. Sam Harris asks difficult questions, and Maajid Nawaz answers in an honest and straightforward way. Mr. Nawaz does an excellent job in the way he answers. He does not bash the faith at all. Instead, he explains Islams most controversial texts, how they can be interpreted to have different meaning by different people, and answers that can be provided for those who are looking.
Both authors each read their own scripts. I found this to make for a great presentation. I could visualize the two authors having a conversation. This made it that much more realistic, genuine and consequential for me, personally.
The audio version is just under 4 hours long. So it doesn't take a lot of time to get through it. It's not at all repetitive - every page/section is filled with interesting information and perspective. Also, if you get the audio book there's a bonus at the end. It's a podcast of a conversation between the two authors. They discuss the work as well as various reader's reactions to it. I found that part of the book to be just as interesting as the main text.
In case you haven't caught on, I highly....highly recommend this book. It's a badly needed perspective for everyone, no matter what your thoughts are on this topic at large.