Monday, April 23, 2012
A very enjoyable travelogue of a journey along the old Silk Road from China west to Turkey. Thubron is adept at writing interesting characters, his scene-setting is superb, and his grasp of current events and tribes and situations and shifting boundaries makes for lively and engaging reading. Interspersed with all this are the fascinating historical bits about disappeared civilizations and cities decaying and wasted in the sand. I found his text quite useful for research as I was teaching middle graders about the Silk Road, and as a personal narrative of a difficult journey in troubled times it ranks near the top. He's certainly no Patrick Leigh Fermor, but who is?