Shadow of the Silk Road (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Travel - 400 pages
20 Reviews

Shadow of the Silk Road records a journey along the greatest land route on earth. Out of the heart of China into the mountains of Central Asia, across northern Afghanistan and the plains of Iran and into Kurdish Turkey, Colin Thubron covers some seven thousand miles in eight months. Making his way by local bus, truck, car, donkey cart and camel, he travels from the tomb of the Yellow Emperor, the mythic progenitor of the Chinese people, to the ancient port of Antioch—in perhaps the most difficult and ambitious journey he has undertaken in forty years of travel.

The Silk Road is a huge network of arteries splitting and converging across the breadth of Asia. To travel it is to trace the passage not only of trade and armies but also of ideas, religions and inventions. But alongside this rich and astonishing past, Shadow of the Silk Road is also about Asia today: a continent of upheaval.

One of the trademarks of Colin Thubron's travel writing is the beauty of his prose; another is his gift for talking to people and getting them to talk to him. Shadow of the Silk Road encounters Islamic countries in many forms. It is about changes in China, transformed since the Cultural Revolution. It is about false nationalisms and the world's discontented margins, where the true boundaries are not political borders but the frontiers of tribe, ethnicity, language and religion. It is a magnificent and important account of an ancient world in modern ferment.

  

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Review: Shadow of the Silk Road

User Review  - Mindy McAdams - Goodreads

I do not read a lot of travel narratives, but now and then I select one because each page I open while thumbing through (or previewing on Amazon) holds something interesting and makes me want to keep ... Read full review

Review: Shadow of the Silk Road

User Review  - Stephen Marriott - Goodreads

If there was ever a book to inspire you to throw yourself into independent travel and let fate take its course in Asia this is the book. Thubron has the knowledge of a hungry historian but the sense ... Read full review

Contents

Dawn
1
The Capital
7
Mantra
46
The Last Gate Under Heaven
68
The Southern Road
96
Kashgar
138
The Mountain Passage
154
To Samarkand
184
Over the Oxus
219
Mourning
262
The Mongol Peace
294
To Antioch
333
Timeline
346
Index
350
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing. His first books were about the Middle East—Damascus, Lebanon, and Cyprus. In 1982 he traveled in the Soviet Union, pursued by the KGB. From these early experiences developed his great travel books on the landmass that makes up Russia and Asia: Among the Russians; Behind the Wall: A Journey through China; The Lost Heart of Asia; In Siberia; and most recently, Shadow of the Silk Road.

Colin Thubron is an award-winning novelist as well as, arguably, the most admired travel writer of our time. He lives in London.

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