Tag Archives: Travel literature

There and away – Driving through the ‘Stans.

As I sat scribbling this post on my notepad, on the plane back home, it occurred to me that the past two car journeys had been the first ones, in Central Asia, where we hadn’t been serenaded non-stop by some … Continue reading

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Confessions of a graphomaniac.

Doctor, dear doctor, help me for I’m a graphomaniac. Yes doctor, I love paper. I adore the smell of the thing, the muffled noise of a pencil running on a smooth sheet. In a nutshell, doctor, I love writing. I … Continue reading

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“Wild Coast. Travels on South America’s Untamed Edge”, by John Gimlette, Profile Books

Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana: raise your hands if you can recite, by heart – and no Googling, I can see you – their capitals. Not a clue? Well, I honestly doubt there’ll be many, amongst the few who’ll stumble across … Continue reading

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“Out of Steppe” by Daniel Metcalfe, Arrow – Random House

If the passion for travelling off the beaten path, exploring places that don’t make it on the top-shelf brochure at your local Trailfinders (but, let’s face it, they don’t even make it to the bottom one), was a genetic strand … Continue reading

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“I have never encountered splendour of this kind before”. Visiting Isfahan with Robert Byron

On paper it sounded like a good idea: visiting a country whilst reading about it, journeying through the physical space and the mental one concocted by a great travel writer, attempting to match my experiences to those of the author. … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Iran | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

“Arabian Sands”, by Wilfred Thesiger, Penguin Books.

Italo Calvino once wrote that a ‘classic’ is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say. If this is the approved meter of judgement for the category, then I’ve no doubts that Arabian Sands belongs to … Continue reading

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“Ninety Percent of Everything”, by Rose George, Picador

I’m an intrinsically sceptical person, the sort of individual who’s the thorn in the side of marketers, focus group organisers or pollsters. Give an advert saying “The best book of the year” and I’ll immediately think ‘bullshit’. Make me read … Continue reading

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“Dark Star Safari” by Paul Theroux, Penguin Books

Source http://www.paultheroux.com Paul Theroux and I go a long way. I originally picked up his book almost one year ago, in its podcast form, and then – almost immediately – dropped it. The reason? The voice of the reader: whereas … Continue reading

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“The Lost Heart of Asia”, by Colin Thubron, Vintage

Then I heard Pasha calling me to return. It was late and dark, he said, and this was not our country. It doesn’t happen often, for me, to arrive at the last word of a book and think Aw fuck, … Continue reading

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“Chile – Travels in a thin country”, by Sara Wheeler, Abacus

Having spent most of my reading time engrossed in travel literature I think I’m now adequately equipped to put together a brief phenomonology of the writer of this genre that I so much adore. Let’s assume to have a chart, … Continue reading

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