Asad lived an amazing life which he describes beautifully. Meetings with future kings of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Iran before their ascension, espionage into Fascist-controlled Libya and British Iraq: Asad covered a lot of ground. He nests his recollections like the 1001 Nights, one scene inside the other, going further back in time with each one. Yet the book seemed so dated. Asad (1900-1992) was a man of the 20th century, and his Modern rationalist outlook, his Islamist politics and his extreme attachment to the House of Saud feel like relics of a previous age here in the Post-modern, Post-binLaden 21st. The Road to Mecca was a fascinating historical document but not particularly inspirational to this reader.