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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyably informative, 8 May 2001
An interesting tapestry of small details flowers within the book. There is a sense of ordinary humanity in the author, with no self-importance at all, and the very subtle humour of everyday events made me laugh out loud. The eccentric travelling companion Ned, the disorganised Libyans, the grouchy camels - all combine well.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly commendable debut, 20 Aug 2001
By A Customer
This is a charming book - amusing, romantic and through Mr Marozzi's skilful prose, stunningly real and touchingly humane. He has an interesting style that is modern yet at the same time delightfully archaic and without a hint of pomposity or vulgarity. In combining his experiences with fitting references to works and comments from past explorers, he manages to recapture the spirit of British exploration and adventure with erudition and humour. In short, I found this book fascinating and inspirational.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good travel Book, 2 April 2014
By 
Nico (Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: South from Barbary: Along the Slave Routes of the Libyan Sahara (Paperback)
This was a good travel that is well worth reading. Justin Marozzi describes the trip he and a friend make through the Libyan desert on Camel with great style and a good smattering of humour. He also provides enough historical and political detail on Libya to set the scene and context of the journey. Well worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Neat blend of travel and history, 18 Jan 2014
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I've read Justin Marozzi on Heroditus (The Man Who Invented History) and on Tamurlaine (Tamerlane: Sword of Islam, Conqueror of the World) and he combines two of my favourite genres - history and travel writing. Marozzi's USP is that he walks the land that his historical figures walked and looks at what remains of their legacy. It's a neat trick.
In this book, Marozzi attempts to recreate journeys of camel trains from the interior to the north African coast and he attempts it by camel, even though he has never ridden or led a camel before.
The journey is across Gadaffi's Libya, which is a pretty tricky journey, but he passes deep into the interior and visits cities, towns and oases that are ancient, but much changed in modern Libya. Gadaffi's attempts to modernise have destroyed much and, though a process of dogma and corruption, have left people considerably worse off. Much of it is a sad commentary on political failure and makes you think that we'd be better off without government and rulers.
Marozzi gets his camels and the difficulties he has with them and worries about their welfare, also his developing love for them, is a key part of the book. He also meets some amazing guides and honest, open people who restore your faith in humanity and perhaps give hope that this country will one day be a happy and safe place to live in.
Of course, being an Englishman, he also befriends and feeds a dog, which is called Tuna, and this accompanies him on part of his journey before mysteriously disappearing in one of the larger towns. We'd like to think the dog found a good home, but more likely it was shot.
This is more of a travel book than a history lesson, but Marozzi does cover the history of this part of the world through Carthaginian, Roman, Arab and European colonization. The caravan routes he was attempting to travel were principally used to bring captured slaves from the interior of Africa to the Mediterranean ports to be traded in the Ottoman empire. Their journey would have been on foot, not riding camels, and it would have been incredibly harsh and cruel.
I really enjoyed the book, looking forward to his next one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, 9 Feb 2013
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One of the best books on the Sahara I've read. Up to date and surprise after surprise. If you really want to know what it's like travelling by camel try this book.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Toby Green is wrong, 3 May 2001
Loved the book -- enthralling and enlightening. Also funny. Having very limited first hand experience of the appalling discomfort of riding on camel-back their journey was also an admirable achievement.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding. A real find., 7 May 2001
I have rarely been as suprised or delighted by a book as I was with this one. Delightfully written, with an acute eye and a gentle humour, this first book is a real joy. Highly recommended.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A remarkable debut, 21 May 2001
Mr Marozzi has produced a very sensitive account of a remarkable expedition. Thios book is a perfectly balanced account of his own travels and the history of the region, observed with an acutely sypathetic eye. I look forward to reading his next book, and recommend this one without reserve.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Facinating adventure book, 22 Jan 2009
By 
J. Twyman (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: South from Barbary: Along the Slave Routes of the Libyan Sahara (Paperback)
A rise through the Sahara is given so much colour and understated humour in this book. It explains well the region, its history and the excitments and difficulties of this unique challenge. You feel very close to the action with great profiles of the various people that he meets along the way.
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South from Barbary: Along the Slave Routes of the Libyan Sahara
South from Barbary: Along the Slave Routes of the Libyan Sahara by Justin Marozzi (Paperback - 30 July 2010)
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