While I was generally underwhelmed by Lawrence's work (when I wasn't just plain confused, since he alternates sharply between over-explanation and none at all), considering recent events a paragraph from his epilogue rang true: "There will be more headline stories about the Qur'an. Though they will likely concern its abuse rather than its use, it is its use that will finally matter most in the decades and centuries ahead. Scholars will continue to debate its style and content, its medieval and modern interpretations, and also its application in law and politics as well as interfaith dialogue."
There have got to be better books out there that will offer more of what I was looking for than this one did. I'll be on the lookout.