Guests of the Ayatollah

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Mark Bowden

Narrated By: Mark Bowden

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: April 2006

Duration: 9 hours 59 minutes


November 4, 1979. A group of radical Islamist students, inspired by revolutionary Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, take fifty-three Americans hostage and keep them captive for 444 days. GUESTS OF THE AYATOLLAH tells the complete story of the Iran hostage crisis, America's first battle with militant Islam.


  • nab6215

    This should be the last of book or video I’m reading or watching about the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1980 for a while. I feel as if I’ve got a good handle on it. The reason this is the last book is because the writer is Mark Bowden. He is thorough, a good writer and has a pleasant voice. This book helped put the things I learned after reading and watching things from a few perspectives into the big picture. When the audio book ending I had the biggest shock of all—it was an abridgement. This was the best abridgement I have ever heard. The staff at Simon & Simon Audio did an outstanding job.

  • quinnbot

    I am a big fan of a couple of Mark Bowden's other books which I've read - Black Hawk Down, and Killing Pablo - so, when I decided to "read" a bit about a political event which happened before I was born, I picked this book. Yeah, I'm a nerd. I love a gripping true life political story. Guests of the Ayatollah started well, launching me into the different sides of the story with great hooks for each perspective. However, when I got to disc 4 or so, things really slowed down. It must have been before that, because I swear that I felt like I was slogging through most of discs 3 through 7. Oy. Nonetheless, I learned a lot about the Iran Hostage Crisis (the topic of the audiobook), got some interesting insight into Carter's role in it (which I'm sure that my elders would disagree with), and I kind of liked Mark Bowden's voice (he reads his own book). So, I give it three out of five stars.

  • Mandi Scott Chestler

    Written like a thriller, yet scrupulously researched and documented, this book is packed with first hand accounts from U.S. hostages, Iranian hostage-takers and jailers, and our brave military personnel involved in the aborted rescue attempt. Bowden relates how the Iranian student revolutionaries efforts to replace an oppressive shah with a lawless coup has ironically led to the hyper-dictatorship of a murderous "mullah-ocracy" for the last 30 years. This audio book is a must for any American born after 1960 who may not recall, or those who may have been born after, the heart-sickening hostage crisis our nation experienced when Iran illegally invaded the US embassy in Tehran and imprisoned our diplomats and staff for 444 days. Iran comitted a crime against these individuals, our country and the international community...something to keep in mind as Iran strives to become a nuclear power.