From School Library Journal
Adult/High School–Part travelogue, part primer, Road
meanders through the often-overlooked stans of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, with occasional excursions into the Xinjiang province of China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. From 1997 to 2002, Rall endured a series of treks through the deserts and mountains of Central Asia. He had a knack for showing up at exactly the wrong time: he traveled through Kashmir just as the Taliban entered Pakistan as part of General Pervez Musharraf's 1999 coup, only to return a year later to lead a group of tourists into the middle of a siege as the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan invaded Osh. Interspersed throughout this text, Rall's editorial cartoons provide breathing spaces in the form of graphic novellas. The author's travels are rife with indigestion, extortion, and 120-degree heat. Nevertheless, his awestruck descriptions of the region's natural beauty, crowded bazaars, and chaotic sporting tournaments will make adventurous readers want to see it all firsthand. The author takes a serious subject and infuses it with humor, examining the corruption, poverty, and political struggles that define Central Asia. Each page includes at least one illustration–photographs and maps as well as cartoons–and the volume includes historical summaries and country profiles that contextualize the events depicted.–Heidi Dolamore, San Mateo County Library, CA
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"Ted Rall's Silk Road to Ruin is a rollicking, subversive and satirical portrait of the region that is part travelogue, part graphic novel. It's fresh and edgy and neatly captures the reality of travel in the region." -- Lonely Planet Guide to Central Asia, 2007