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About the book
  • Published: 6 August 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784875343
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $19.99
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Shadow of the Silk Road

(Vintage Voyages)




VINTAGE VOYAGES: A world of journeys, from the tallest mountains to the depths of the mind

Colin Thurbon’s beautiful prose unfolds along the Silk Road, unearthing a richly layered past on his most ambitious journey.

On buses, donkey carts, trains, jeeps and camels, Colin Thubron traces the drifts of the first great trade route out of the heart of China into the mountains of Central Asia, across northern Afghanistan and the plains of Iran into Kurdish Turkey. A magnificent account of an ancient world in modern ferment, Thubron covers over 7000 miles in eight months enduring a near-miss with a drunk-driver, incarceration in a Chinese cell, and undergoing root canal treatment without anaesthetic, along the way.

VINTAGE VOYAGES: A world of journeys, from the tallest mountains to the depths of the mind

  • Pub date: 6 August 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784875343
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Colin Thubron

Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing, and the winner of many prizes and awards. His first writing was about the Middle East - Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled into the Soviet Union in an ancient Morris Marina, pursued by the KGB, a journey he recorded in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books: Behind the Wall (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Award), The Lost Heart of Asia, In Siberia (Prix Bouvier) and Shadow of the Silk Road. His most recent book is To a Mountain in Tibet (all available in Vintage). Colin Thubron was President of the Royal Society of Literature from 2010 to 2017.

Also by Colin Thubron

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Praise for Shadow of the Silk Road

“It is hard to think of a better travel book written this century”

The Times

“A beautiful and profound travel book”

Mail on Sunday

“A masterpiece of travel writing ... a classic”

New Statesman

“Thubron is a very hardy traveller, and a very fine writer...[it is] a book of exceptional erudition, adventure and elegance”

Robert Macfarlane, Spectator

“A poetic volume - interesting, shocking and deeply engaging, the work of a mature writer at the top of his game”

Sara Wheeler, Daily Telegraph

“Impresses with its scholarship and literary craft”

Ian Thomson, Observer

“He effortlessly interweaves the present with the fast-disappearing past, and reminds even the well-travelled how much we still have to learn about our planet...Thubron takes us on a fascinating journey that shows that travel writing at its best can still approach literature and can still educate”

Stephen Fidler, Financial Times


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