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The Art of War

By: Sun Tzu
Narrated by: Aidan Gillen
Length: 1 hr and 7 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (414 ratings)

Non-member price: $13.86

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Publisher's Summary

The 13 chapters of The Art of War, each devoted to one aspect of warfare, were compiled by the high-ranking Chinese military general, strategist, and philosopher Sun-Tzu. In spite of its battlefield specificity, The Art of War has found new life in the modern age, with leaders in fields as wide and far-reaching as world politics, human psychology, and corporate strategy finding valuable insight in its timeworn words.

Aidan Gillen - who has learned a thing or two about strategy through his roles as skilled manipulator Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Game of Thrones) and ambitious politician Tommy Carcetti (The Wire) - brilliantly performs this ancient classic. His experience in portraying insightful and, at times, cunning characters makes him a natural fit for this ancient collection of battlefield epigrams whose influence has grown tremendously in the modern world.

Public Domain (P)2015 Audible Inc.

What members say

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And you thought he ran a solid bordello?

Littlefinger narrates The Art of War. 'nuff said... except these seven words required for review.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Lee
  • 23-05-2015

Perfect union of ancient and fictional strategists

I truly enjoyed this translation of The Art of War, both the strategies and tactics themselves and the way Sun Tzu's hands the advice down. Indeed the content is often dry, with absolute clarity with each factor and situation described; there is no room for ambiguity. Somewhat surprisingly to me, I found the lack of fanfare both engaging and refreshing.

My darker sense of humour is tickled when Giles describes outcomes for the weakest of leaders. I am sure Giles detected a tone of disdain in sections within the original. Some sections feel slightly repetitive, but the flow of the chapters and the overall message remains intact.

As an avid fans of the Game of Thrones television, I'd argue no other character plays the cold strategist as does 'Littlefinger'. He is stone-faced in both planning and execution of his political agenda; even the few bouts of passion seem only a dramatisation for the benefit of the ruse, and not genuine emotion at all. This is why I believe the reading by Aidan Gillen is so perfect for this book.

With Gillen's voice already associated with the detached persona of Baelish, the delivery parallels the cold strategic and tactical content. Hearing Gillen speak of 'utter disorganisation' and 'the coyness of a maiden' caused me to chuckle quietly, highlighting again the precise matching of the reading to the text.

LAST WORDS: If you have ever enjoyed an episode of Game of Thrones, and found yourself having even a single enemy, do yourself a favour: spend 67 minutes listening to this engaging performance of a most important work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The voice of GoT!!

None better I think for a performance like Aidan Gillen's voice!

A man whose voice is fit for the narration of a classic like Sun Tzu.

The book is highly revered because of its timeless wisdom in dealing with ones enemy and helps a person to look inwardly and to self examine ones own understanding of themselves and to then negate the reaction and instead make the calculated move.

Thoroughly enjoyed this rendition of the book.

If a con, I would of preferred if the book was broken up just a touch more between each point. Although the reading was seamless, it was hard to comprehend each point because it moved so quickly.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An inspiring if somewhat dated read

Though references to banners & chariots may betray the relevancy of Sun Tsu's insight in daily life, the art of war is a truly fascinating read.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Every military commander/ leader should read this.

This book has changed my life and has helped me command my troops im actual battlefields against the Taliban.

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must read for an enterprise

fundamentals of what drives startegy in an enterprise... very simple and we'll narrated ..must read if U are an enetrpurner

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  • Steve
  • Newcastle, Australia
  • 22-05-2019

An old story but well told

The information is well covered and nothing new but it’s a great experience to hear it so appropriately narrated by Aidan Gilles.

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short and sharp.

it's Gunna take quite a few reads to get a really good handle on the context of this one.

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Great book

It's a classic for a good reason! I think anyone involved in a competitive endeavour ought to read this book.

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Little finger reading the art of war!

How appropriate that Little Finger from the Game of Thrones is reading the art of war, I thoroughly enjoyed this reading.

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  • Angelina PM
  • 14-04-2015

Aidan Gillen needs to narrate more books

What made the experience of listening to The Art of War the most enjoyable?

The narration

What did you like best about this story?

The simplicity, the sensibility that Sun Tzu brought to chaotic war.

Which character – as performed by Aidan Gillen – was your favorite?

...

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Please have Aidan Gillen narrate The Prince next, and really anything else. This man could read a phone book and I'd pay for it.

95 of 99 people found this review helpful

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  • coppertin
  • 24-04-2015

Great performance

This ancient text may apply to many people's work. Anyone who works in a competitive environment can benefit from it, even if only a little. Even if you can't benefit from it, this work might help the listener to understand historical works dealing with wars better.

The reading is excellent. Aidan Gillen does a great job reading the text. I don't know if it's because I've been watching Game of Thrones for four seasons, but it sounds like he's using a kind of Littlefinger voice here, which adds to the effect. I'd recommend this audiobook to pretty much anyone, even if they don't have an army.

55 of 59 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles
  • 24-03-2019

Commentary on The Art of War, not the actual book

I expected this to be a narrated version of Sun Tzu's The Art of War. In reality it is a commentary on the book with some of it read.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

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  • G. Parish
  • 31-05-2016

A classic text, read well

This is a classic text and the narrator fit it well. If you are interested in strategy this is a required text.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mathias
  • 27-05-2015

Littlefinger brings it home

Aidan Gillen delivers a great performance and keeps the listener interested and engaged through out the entire book!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • David S. Mathew
  • 14-04-2018

Game of War

The Art of War is a time tested classic of strategy and martial wisdom. The reputation of this book is extremely well known, so I won’t bother reviewing Sun Tzu. If you’ve ever been interested in this text, go for it.

If you’re reading this review, my guess is that you’re wondering about the performance. In short, Aidan Gillen knocks it out of the park. If you’re a fan of Aidan Gillen (or Game of Thrones in general) what could be cooler than being schooled in the art of war by Lord Petyr Baelish himself? You owe it to yourself to give this a listen. Highly recommended!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Molly Mcdermott
  • 27-05-2015

Clever and extremely enjoyable

Stroke of genius having Aidan Gillen read Art of War. His gentle Irish brogue is tough yet alluring. And as a fan of GoT, I can see Littlefinger conspiring over this document and making these words his own. Well done!

19 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Scott Craig
  • 12-04-2015

Enjoyed this reading.

Enjoyed the reading. Very well presented!👍👍. Was thankful for the AUDIBLE 50% SPRING cleaning sale. Thank you for the presentation

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Newt
  • 14-05-2019

Wow this could be audible's future

Getting the right people to narrate the book makes all the difference. Having Baelish narrate this one was spot on. Purchased it immediately, even though I don't know when I'll listen to it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tukundane
  • 08-12-2018

Best strategy book.

I have listened to the book while multi tasking and in heavily noise locations without missing key point Sun puts out.
The Art of War strategies once implemented in the day today activities can have great impact.
I am surely going to listen to it the second time in a more calm and quiet environment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan Lloyd
  • 03-07-2017

Inspiring

I really enjoyed this. Excellent book and Aiden Gillen an inspired choice as narrator. Full marks all round

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • David Willingale
  • 28-12-2017

Timeless

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I bought this audiobook. I had heard of the Art of War and always wanted to read it, as any book that was written more than 2000 years ago and still holds reverence must be worth reading (or listening). The book seemingly offers very generalised advice to military leaders (no pun intended). However in my understanding of the text there are much wider applications of the wisdom shared by Sun Tzu, namely patience and the value of self reflection. As such this book transcends any notion that it is merely an ancient text on military stratagem and is much more akin to allegorical philosophy.

Adian Gillen’s ‘performance’ was excellent, although I have not listened to many audiobooks so I’m not sure what a good performance constitutes. That being said, he has a pleasant, cool and clear voice that resonates well with the text. Although I concede that at times I couldn’t shake the sense that, Petyr Baelish ‘Littlefinger’, was reading this book to me especially when speaking about spies.

There is no story and as such I marked it as five stars. It seemed to make more sense than marking no stars.

Very much worth the price paid, I didn’t use my token though. I thought it might be a waste given it was so cheap to buy.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Hugh Cameron
  • 03-03-2018

The narrator had a train to catch.

Sun Tzu speaks with great insight, wisdom and clarity, but the Aidan Gillen spoke too quickly and with no emphasis. He should have paid attention to Sun Tzu's warning not always do the same thing.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • stuart
  • 29-12-2017

excellent

something I've intended to read for a while, and Aidan Gillen gives an excellent delivery. I'm looking forward to listening to this one again already. The insight into the nuances of war, and the intricacies of character that allow success or failure, is one that can be appropriated to many aspects of life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • P. Duffield
  • 04-02-2017

Very Informative and Excellent Performance

Didn't recognise the actor's name but when I recognised him I thought it was an excellent choice. He has a very dry and engaging voice.

It was quite informative and I like all the definitions e.g. intersecting ground. I think I'll have to listen to this again so that all the points sink in.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Kristoffer
  • 19-01-2018

Fascinating!!

Incredibly performed. Compelling story with loads of interesting points.

Its an essential, you must read this! Its even at a low price

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. R. V. COPE
  • 09-01-2018

Master of War

Would you consider the audio edition of The Art of War to be better than the print version?

I've never read the print version but have always wanted to. I'd still like a copy so I could go back and study certain tactics, but I understood everything in the audio version.

What other book might you compare The Art of War to, and why?

Bushido? Only because of the historic aspect and the fact that it teaches you a way of life & war.

What about Aidan Gillen’s performance did you like?

I couldn't think of anyone better to narrate than Aidan Gillen. As soon as I saw that he was the narrated I instantly bought it. He adds a level of cunning and guile that is required in a tactician and no other narrated could have pulled off.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

This isn't the sort of book you could turn into a film - a documentary though. Perhaps "War is barbaric, War is an art"?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Rex Osafo-Asare
  • 23-08-2016

Timeless Reading at its best

Aiden Gillen does a great job of narrating this classic. Many are the transferable tactics, strategies and mindset towards any business, political or economic venture worth pursuing. Definitely worth investing in!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr Guy T Murch
  • 09-05-2019

Nice little look into a recognised and established work

There are different versions on Audible. This is a great version broken down into bite size chapters. Delivered in an easy to listen manner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jordan
  • 14-10-2019

Great read

Great read so to speak aidan gillen is a great narrator I also think it can be useful for many people for all walks of life