The Exile: Book Review

The Exile was co-written by Cathy Scott Clark & Adrian Levi, published by Bloomsbury in 2017 and it is 505 pages long.


The book gives in-depth details and covers the decade long hunt for Osama Bin Laden, how he managed to hide until shot dead in Abbottabad by SEALs and the geopolitical turbulence caused by Al-Qaeda before and after his death.




This is the epitome of investigative journalism. As you will read further… the admiration for the persistence of authors keeps on growing. Just imagine, they stuck to minuscule pieces of information and created a tome out of it.


You will witness a historical detour of Afghanistan, USA, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and Syria and how the incidents mentioned still affect these countries in present. The first two chapters establish the key players and places involved. Later, it unfolds like a gripping thriller.


The political dynamics were covered so minutely, it will intrigue you with the moments like embittering relations between America & Pakistan, Iran & Pakistan providing sanctuary and turning their backs on Al-Qaeda, the ISI using 2001 Indian Parliament terrorist attack as a cover-up for a bigger machination, how 9/11 insider-job conspiracy theory came into existence, the thrilling Abbottabad compound raid and many more.

This book can also be used as a reference point to improve your word power. In the last forty days, I learnt and loaded new words in my vocabulary.


The only flaw I found was that the authors left ambiguity on the reason why Osama Bin Laden’s attitude turned vehement towards America.

See he didn’t just issue fatwas and started bombing US embassies culminating into 9/11. There is a deep backstory of strategic negligence of CIA leaving Afghanistan in a vacuum after the Soviet war. Adding a chapter or two could have completed the picture.


In the end, I won’t recommend The Exile to average readers; only to the people who are well versed on this subject; at least have prior knowledge or keenly interested in defence and international affairs.


Rating: 4.5/5

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