Landfalls: On the Edge of Islam from Zanzibar to the Alhambra

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Hodder & Stoughton, Aug 19, 2010 - Travel - 384 pages
2 Reviews

For Ibn Batuttah of Tangier, being medieval didn't mean sitting at home waiting for renaissances, enlightenments and easyJet. It meant travelling the known world to its limits.

Seven centuries on, Tim Mackintosh-Smith's passionate pursuit of the fourteenth-century traveller takes him to landfalls in remote tropical islands, torrid Indian Ocean ports and dusty towns on the shores of the Saharan sand-sea. His zigzag itinerary across time and space leads from Zanzibar to the Alhambra ( via the Maldives, Sri Lanka, China, Mauritania and Guinea ) and to a climactic conclusion to his quest for the man he calls 'IB' - a man who out-travelled Marco Polo by a factor of three, who spent his days with saints and sultans and his nights with an intercontinental string of slave-concubines.

Tim's journey is a search for survivals from IB's world - material, human, spiritual, edible - however, w hen your fellow traveller has a 700-year head start, familiar notions don't always work.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jajackson - LibraryThing

The third in a trilogy of travel books in which the author follows the steps of the Mediaeval traveller Ibn Battutah - in this volume to East Africa, the Maldives Sri Lanka, China and the Sahel. He ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - reader68 - LibraryThing

Absorbing book. Final book in trilogy. I read first book but not second. Ibn Battutah is 14th century Moroccan lawyer who travelled in Islamic countries. In this vol. Sri Lanka, China, West Africa, Andalucia. Author tries to find evidence of Ibn B.'s visit. 4.99 via Kindle Amazon. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Tim Mackintosh-Smith's first book, Yemen: Travels in Dictionary Land, won the 1998 Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Award and is now regarded as a classic of Arabian description. His two books on Ibn Battutah's adventures in the old Islamic world and in India, Travels with a Tangerine and The Hall of a Thousand Columns, were received to huge critical acclaim. His journeys in search of Ibn Battutah have also been turned into a major BBC television series that has fascinated viewers round the globe. For the past twenty-five years his home has been the Yemeni capital San'a, where he lives in a tower-house on top of the ancient Sabaean city and next door to the modern donkey market.

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