Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron

Shadow of the Silk Road

Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron is a travel book that chronicles the author’s eight-month journey along the ancient trade route from eastern China to Turkey.

The book is an exploration of the history, culture, and people of the Silk Road, as well as a reflection on the changes that have taken place in the region over the past few decades.

The journey starts in Xian in central China and takes the reader through Afghanistan, Iran, and finally to Turkey. Along the way, Thubron visits many monuments and tombs of historical figures, and talks to a wide variety of people, learning about their lives and local legends.

He also reflects on the political borders that don’t always coincide with those boundaries based on ethnicity, language, religion, and culture.

The book is filled with vivid descriptions of the landscapes, cultures, and people encountered along the way. It also contains a wealth of historical information about the Silk Road, including its role in the Great Game, the exchange of goods and ideas between Rome and China, and the revival of Islam in Central Asia.

The book is written in a poetic style that is both informative and humane. It is a beautiful and profound travel book that will leave readers with a haunting and wonderful sense that they too have been there.

What I Liked

I loved the prose, description, and setting. It’s a beautiful travel book covering some of the most well-traveled parts of the world. I loved reading Marco Polo’s Travels – so this book was an amazing modern sequel.

What I Did Not Like

The book is paced very slowly – for better and for worse. It also blurred together a bit.

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