Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more


on 17 April 2017
Great read for anyone that loves great travel stories. I particularly enjoy the description of trying to get ANYTHING organised in Libya was an adventure in itself. You just have to make things up as you go along! The brief description of the ecological disaster brought on by the Roman Empire is an early highlight.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 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.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 18 January 2014
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 August 2001
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.
0Comment| 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 January 2016
I loved this book. It was fascinating to read that the last official sale of a slave in North Africa was in the 1920s - a tragic trade.
I thoroughly enjoyed Justin's journey along the slave route, and the difficulties he endured. I was also greatly amused how his various acquaintances in the region would drive by to see how he was getting on, whilst he was going through so many trials and problems to continue on his travels.
I fell in love with his camels, and would have liked to know just how they got on after this journey. I wanted to hear a happy ending for these wonderful animals!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 April 2014
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 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.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 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.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 9 February 2013
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.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 17 August 2015
Copy as described, thankyou
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse


Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)