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The Lost Heart Of Asia Paperback – 1 Apr 2004
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"Thubron's journey takes him through a spectacular, talismanic geography of desert and mountain... a whole glittering, terrible and romantic history lies abandoned along with thoughts of more prosperous times... Thubon's grasp of this fantastical past is impeccable, and he weaves its mysteries with modern images into a dazzling embroidery" (The Times)
"Thubron writes with an originality and vividness that few contemporary authors can match" (Independent)
"Although the heroic age of travellers in Central Asia has gone for ever, this book will still deserve, for the intense beauty of its pose and the observant clarity of its visions, to stand alongside the best of those classic travel writings of the past" (Sunday Telegraph)
"This book is a masterpiece of travel writing... in plain English, it's a classic" (New Statesman)
'I would rather read Colin Thubron than any other travel writer alive on central Asia' - John Simpson, Daily TelegraphSee all Product description
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Thubron may sometimes be hard to follow. His vocabulary is vast and prosaic style sometimes difficult to understand, making it necessary to read paragraphs more than once to grasp the meaning of what he is writing. Although the book is almost 20 years old, the national "psyche" of the region has probably not changed fundamentally, but some paragraphs may be somewhat dated. I had hoped for more detailed coverage of Kirghizistan and and Tajikistan, which are only briefly described compared to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Still, the book is hard to put down if you have an interest in the region and its people. Well worth a read.
I was interested in the book as I had made a similar journey but in the opposite direction.
The book can not be described as a travelogue as it is as much a history book and a record of interminable conversations as it is about the places the author visited. Too much of the book refers to Uzbeckistan to the detriment of the other 4 stans.
What the book desperately needs are pictures (there are none) as this part of the world is most picturesque.
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