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4.5 out of 5 stars
17
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 16 April 2017
If you drive a shopping trolley and think it's hard work changing a light bulb you should read this......inspirational, respect......
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on 4 May 2017
It's a good read for those of us who used to go over the water a few years back, good luck to those who still do
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on 28 August 2015
Cracking book really enjoyed

Easy read lots of places I've been to mentioned
Recommended by a friend to buy and read
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 28 May 2013
Andy Turnbull is a Canadian journalist with a penchant for writing about journeys undertaken with truckers in various parts of the world. This book covers a trip he made from the UK to Tashkent in Uzbekistan in 1993 with a British trucker. While the title and the description leads one to believe that a work comparing the caravan travels on the Silk Route to the modern equivalent, the book falls somewhat short of that goal.

While the author starts off by trying to link modern long distance trucking to the caravans of old, some of the comparisons feel a bit forced and the theme is then largely abandoned later on in the book, where only an occassional comment is made regarding the two.

Some of the descriptions and statements will have aged dramatically from when the book was first published in 1993, as so much has changed during the subsequent 20 years (therefore all the price and roads / stops information, which may well have been of use to truckers of the time is now at best to be looked upon as a historical footnote).

The author, in spite of his international experience, still tends to come across as somewhat rejecting of his newly found environment of the former Soviet Republics (he is more than positive on the job of trucking itself) and some other accounts will do better justice to the cultures and the people and help a reader form a more informed picture.

At times one also feels that some research, rather than using hearsay and urban legends, would have helped make this a better book. At the same time one needs to acknowledge that in 1993 some of this would have been more difficult and that it may well have gone beyond the remit of an extended magazine article that the author was initially trying to get out of the journey.

The writing style can best be described as folksy / salt of the earth - which may or may not grate on the reader. It is clearly written from an 'American' perspective and many things which would not merit a second glance from an European are described in excrutiating detail. This is a general issue with the book - the author tends to frequently go off at a tangent and then describe some other journey he has made over several pages (or the merits of US versus European trucks).

As a last comment, where I think the book certainly does a better job than at being a travel journal is the description of the challenges and satisfactions of being a truck driver - it gives a voice to an important profession of any industrialized society, which on its own deserves praise.

If you are looking for a now historical description of the newly opening routes into Central Asia at the end of the Cold War from an 'American' perspective, this book may be great, otherwise it may well leave you somewhat unsatisfied.
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on 20 April 2013
Excellent! Says what it does, does what it says what more do you want? What more do you require Keith
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on 11 March 2014
A good read but the author is Canadian and he writes and uses Canadian words which sometimes is hard to work out into our English. Still enjoyed it and wonder if RD still does the former USSR.
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on 3 August 2013
this is a great read being an ex international driver myself it brings back great memories ,happy days ,great to see nothing changed
still bandits and dodgey border officials ,
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on 1 January 2016
this would have been better written by a trucker , not a journalist who keeps deviating off the track , i didnt want to know about canada , america and camels !
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on 29 June 2014
I really enjoyed reading this, it's amazing how thing's must have changed over the years. I doubt any British drivers have done this job for a while....
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on 30 July 2016
An OK read. Ralph Davies is based near my home and I often see the wagons on the roads in England. I don't think they go so far now....
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