I first read this book while living and working in Japan. It had been sitting in one of the teacher's lounges at one of the Berlitz schools. The book was shockingly good then, and it stood up well to a second reading. This is absolutely one of those "by men, for men" stories, and it doesn't pull any punches when it comes to describing the raw horrors of Crusades-era siege warfare.
This is certainly one of my favorite books of all time. I hear there's a sequel, but I have little interest in reading more out of fear that it will somehow color or diminish my love for the original.