Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
9
4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
5
4 star
3
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
1
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£2.99
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

VINE VOICEon 23 February 2003
I bought this a long time ago, along with the other early travel reconstruction books by Thor Heyerdal. Since then I have become a fan of Mr.Severin's work - he is a dedicated enthusiast, and that comes over loud and clear in his books. He sometimes gets carried away on the tide of his enthusiasm and repeats himself several times, but you can forgive that, as his eagerness and will to learn drag you along with him on his wild dreams.
The Sindbad voyage was an attempt to see if a sewn wooden boat could make it to China, using only primitive navigational instruments, in support of a theory of the extent of early Arab trading, considering that the Sindbad legends may have had a basis in fact.
The boat is a hand-made, no-metal reconstruction using traditional Arab boat-building techniques, which have only recently fallen out of favour in preference to iron nails and steel bolts. Oman was used as the base for the boat-building and, given its long history of trading with Africa and India, was deemed to be the best place to start the voyage from - the boat's name 'Sohar' comes from one of the major towns on the nothern Omani coast.
Extensive research went into finding the best materials, techniques and above all, locating artisans who still knew something of sewn boats, and people who could still handle sails. The description of that quest and the actual building is a pleasure to read - Mr. Severin's infectious enthusiasm communicates itself through the pages to the reader.
The voyage itself is a tale of acclimation to strange food, cultures, and heat, the camaraderie that grows between vsstly different cultures, and relief that the boat survives all that the weather can throw at it, with an ease that a more rigid construction would have complained at. So strong is the boat that it still stands today on a roundabout outside the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat, as beautiful as ever.
I've read the book several times and it still comes across as fresh as the day I first picked it up. Enjoy! *****
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 9 August 2013
Tim Severin - possibly known to younger readers more for his fiction output (the Viking 1: Odinn's Child No. 1 trilogy or the Corsair trilogy) - has been one of the geographers / historians who like to test their theories experimentally. In this case it means looking at the plausibility of Arab seafaring all the way to China, summarised under the 'Sindbad stories' motto.

The book - his second of the kind after The Brendan Voyage - follows the author's attempt to build an Arab sailing vessel of the 8th cetury AD technological level (meaning all wooden, with coconut hust ropes instead of nails for binding) and sailing it from Oman all the way to Cantonese China, with intermediate stops in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Hong Kong, i.e. along the trading routes used by Arab (primarily Omani) seafarers.

As everything from planning, over construction to the actual sailing and day to day life on the vessel is covered, one gets an excellent overview of the challenges that would be faced by these ancient seafarers and the success of the undertaking validates the feasibility of at least the seafaring aspects of Sindbad's Voyages from the 8th century AD.

Given that the journey happened in 1982 the descriptions and relationships to both the Arab world in general and Oman in particular, and China are - from the perspective of the strained tenor of the last two decades - refreshingly positive and nicely balanced.

It may not be quite a page turner like his works of fiction but it will read very well for someone interested in the topic - either history, geography, or matters nautical. And if you felt Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft,The Brendan Voyage or other books of the kind are your thing, I can only recommend the book.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 February 2013
Right from the outset it is clear that Tim Severin has researched the Sindbad journey extensively. Although the detail can seem a bit excessive or repetitive in parts, it is necessary to relay the hard-work and time that took place when recreating the voyage. The best parts for me were the interactions between the crew: it was lovely to read about men from all over the world, bonding throughout the journey and sharing their emotions and experiences. It reminds me of good old-fashioned tales of seamanship, hardwork and a challenging voyage battling against the elements. Well worth a read.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 23 February 2003
I bought this a long time ago, along with the other early travel reconstruction books by Thor Heyerdal. Since then I have become a fan of Mr.Severin's work - he is a dedicated enthusiast, and that comes over loud and clear in his books. He sometimes gets carried away on the tide of his enthusiasm and repeats himself several times, but you can forgive that, as his eagerness and will to learn drag you along with him on his wild dreams.
The Sindbad voyage was an attempt to see if a sewn wooden boat could make it to China, using only primitive navigational instruments, in support of a theory of the extent of early Arab trading, considering that the Sindbad legends may have had a basis in fact.
The boat is a hand-made, no-metal reconstruction using traditional Arab boat-building techniques, which have only recently fallen out of favour in preference to iron nails and steel bolts. Oman was used as the base for the boat-building and, given its long history of trading with Africa and India, was deemed to be the best place to start the voyage from - the boat's name 'Sohar' comes from one of the major towns on the nothern Omani coast.
Extensive research went into finding the best materials, techniques and above all, locating artisans who still knew something of sewn boats, and people who could still handle sails. The description of that quest and the actual building is a pleasure to read - Mr. Severin's infectious enthusiasm communicates itself through the pages to the reader.
The voyage itself is a tale of acclimation to strange food, cultures, and heat, the camaraderie that grows between vsstly different cultures, and relief that the boat survives all that the weather can throw at it, with an ease that a more rigid construction would have complained at. So strong is the boat that it still stands today on a roundabout outside the Al Bustan Palace Hotel in Muscat, as beautiful as ever.
I've read the book several times and it still comes across as fresh as the day I first picked it up. Enjoy! *****
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 July 2012
An absorbing account of this maritime adventure to establish the likely trials and tribulations of those early traders
exemplified by the tales of Sinbad. A tribute to the skills of the boat builders and the courage of those who
sailed them.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 October 2012
I read a lot of travel books as well as novels, have travelled widely, and am familiar with some of the South East Asian locations in the latter part of this book. The book leaps off the page, and is a wonderful account of a sea voyage in a medieval ship recreated for the voyage. But perhaps the more inspirational aspect is that of the interaction between the crew of European scientists and Arab sailors and the Indian and Asian people they meet at their landfalls. In the internet age it is truly wonderful to read of the human warmth, curiosity and hospitality that can happen when technology is deliberately discarded, and it reminds us of real human qualities. A marvellous book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 28 June 2013
I wish this book could have kept going! I have actually sailed on traditional wooden boats before and I know what a challenge they can be! What an achievement! The original stories are fantastic and having Tim Severin recreate the voyage adds a wonderful element of realism to the originals. An inspiring adventure story if you are a sailing enthusiast like me! I look forward to reading the rest in his 'Voyage' series.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 August 2013
Great stuff,
This is a wonderful book an I would recommend it to all my friends and relatives two words
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 April 2013
II know that this is a historical recreation, however I felt that I would become part of history waiting for this to get going.
I eventually gave up on the book - something that I have not done in years.
It is a pity, I really wanted to enjoy this, but the book was So Slow.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items

£2.99

Need customer service? Click here

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)