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Shadow of the Silk Road (2006)

– tekijä: Colin Thubron

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
1,0312014,756 (3.81)80
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 to the ancient port of Antioch. 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, this book is also about Asia today: a continent of upheaval. One of the trademarks of 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.--From publisher description.… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 20) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Setting out from Xian, the author travels overland, taking in Tibetan monks; Yongchang (where he explores a fascinating tale of a Roman army division being sent out to fight the Parthians in 50 AD...and the sometimes 'European looking' locals...meets the Uighur, on the edge of the Gobi desert, Ends up in a SARS quarantine camp, through Krgyzstan and Samarkand...and into Afghanistan, still ravaged by war, the silenced people of Iran, and through the Elburz Mtns to Antioch.
It's masterly writing. I was glad to nget to the end but that's in no way a reflection of a beautifully written travel narrative. ( )
  starbox | Aug 1, 2020 |
Among the best travel memoirs I've read. Thubron's journey is deliberate, highly observant, immersive. And though undertaken in the advanced 21st century, his adventure is of a former style - jarring buses, hitched rides, crawling and climbing where needed - a keen, ground-level curiosity driving him forward. This is a book of epic scope, with much for a reader to discover. ( )
1 ääni ThoughtPolice | Jan 23, 2017 |
Colin Thubron went back to cross from China via Central Asia and Afghanistan to Iran and Eastern Turkey, to travel the ancient Silk Road. He published “Shadow of the Silk Road” in 2006, the book, but more so his journey, an extraordinary feat, given the threat from SARS in China and the hostilities in Afghanistan at the time. All the more striking, then, that Mr Thubron, quiet and relaxed as always, just does his own thing, finds his own way, often ignoring official directions if he thinks they are useless and ineffective. He may get arrested, so once in a while, but it doesn’t seem to bother him that much. As I have observed in other books of Mr. Thubron, he has a special way of observing, not necessarily focusing on the tourist highlights, but often on more obscure, somewhat irrelevant yet interesting aspects of the region he travels through. Helped by his linguistic skills, he travels off the beaten track, and he meets people, mostly ordinary people. All very interesting, yet, it seldom gets very exciting – which does not, in any way, diminish the respect I have for this man, who wrote his first travel book in the 1960s!

The last part of the book deals with Iran, which he traverses along the northern route, like Dervla Murphy did. Unlike Ms Murphy, Thubron is strong on historical context, which is interspersed with his own travel experiences, past tombs and towns, Teheran and Tabriz. Like Ms Murphy, he also observes the striking difference between Iran’s Persian population, and the large swath of Azerbaijani Iranians, who are culturally quite different. Although Mr Thubron stuck me earlier as quiet and relaxed, during his passage through Afghanistan for the first time some fear shimmers through his travelogue, when he realizes he is the only Westerner, except for the occasional foreign soldiers, in the wide surroundings, in an area where even the locals don’t want to tread – resulting in him taking a plane to Herat, instead of his usual overland travel. But back in Iran, he is his usual self again, back to what I called earlier “a special way of observing, not necessarily focusing on the tourist highlights, but often on more obscure, somewhat irrelevant yet interesting aspects of the region he travels through”. In fact, I enjoyed the latter part of the book more than the earlier, Chinese and Central Asian part. ( )
1 ääni theonearmedcrab | Jan 13, 2016 |
From Xian, China, to Antakya, (Antioch), Turkey, Thubron traced the footsteps of ancient traders and legendary explorers as he traveled the fabled Silk Road.

I have to say, this is one of the best travelogues I've read. I enjoyed it immensely. I've always found the Silk Road a fascinating subject, and Thubron brought both ancient legend and the modern region to life. ( )
  bookwoman247 | Dec 28, 2013 |
This wasn't quite what I was expecting. I have a strong interest in textiles and thought that silk would be the focus of the book. Not so. The author has apparently covered this territory before and this book is the narrative of a second journey along this route. There is some interesting comparison with is past experience and a lot of introspection as he makes his way across this inhospibable route. The quality of his writing is meditative at many points and includes reflections on ancient history of the cultures and religions through the region. ( )
  tangledthread | Apr 26, 2013 |
Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 20) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
Yet in “Shadow of the Silk Road” Thubron departs from his countrymen in important respects. This is not his first trip across these deserts and mountains, and he saw many of these places before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Because he travels without a camera, Thubron never compares snapshots, only memories. In this, he is more poetic than his predecessors; the passage of time is his book’s most interesting feature.
 
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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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 to the ancient port of Antioch. 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, this book is also about Asia today: a continent of upheaval. One of the trademarks of 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.--From publisher description.

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