To compare Colin Thubron's writing
to most travel books is to compare the beautifully
crafted treasures inside the museum to the tawdry
baubles offered for sale on the steps outside.
Entire sections in bookstores are devoted to travel books, and TV travel programs take the viewer to every corner of the globe. Well, actually, not every corner - usually it's the same tired old landmarks coming into view time and time again. So, it is with something of a shock that the reader opens The Shadow of the Silk Road to be reminded that travel writing used to be a high art and, in the right hands, still can be; and those hands don't get much better than travel veteran Colin Thubron, who travels light with no camera and just a change of clothes, his money ...
Colin Thubron was born in London in 1939.
Educated at Eton College, he worked briefly for the
publishers Hutchinson and as a freelance television
film-maker in Turkey, Japan and Morocco. His first
three books were about the Middle East: Mirror to
Damascus, was published in 1967 and is still
considered one of the best books on the Syrian
capital; The Hills of Adonis: A Quest in Lebanon
(1968) and Jerusalem (1969).
Among the Russians (1983) describes a journey he made by car through western Russia during the Brezhnev era. Behind the Wall: A Journey through China (1987) won both the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. The Lost Heart of Asia (1994) narrates his travels through the newly-independent central Asian ...
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