Shadow of the Silk RoadBook - 2007
The author recounts his ambitious and dangerous trek along the legendary Silk Road, during which he ventured from the heart of China to the mountains of Central Asia, through northern Afghanistan, across the plains of Iran, and into Kurdish Turkey.
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.
Thubron, a gifted writer with over a dozen books to his name, has written a vivid account of his journey, often under intimidatingly iffy circumstances, across the full length of the ancient Silk Road, from China to the Mediterranean. Rich in history, readers will be transported by stories of ancient empires and sobered by their present realities as witnessed by the indefatigable author. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The author of In Siberia recounts his ambitious and dangerous trek along the legendary Silk Road, during which he ventured from the heart of China to the mountains of Central Asia, through northern Afghanistan, across the plains of Iran, and into Kurdish Turkey, on a journey that exposed him to the vibrant local cultures and trades. 25,000 first printing.