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Shah's forthcoming novel, TIMBUCTOO, is inspired by a true life tale from two centuries ago. The story of the first Christian to venture to Timbuctoo and back - a young illiterate American sailor - it has been an obsession since Shah discovered it in the bowels of the London Library twenty years ago.
He recently published a collection of his entitled TRAVELS WITH MYSELF, a body of work as varied and as any, with reportage pieces as diverse as the women on America's Death Row, to the trials and tribulations of his encounter in a Pakistani torture jail.
Another recent work, IN ARABIAN NIGHTS, looks at how stories are used in cultures such as Morocco, as a matrix by which information, values and ideas are passed on from one generation to the next. That book follows on the heels of the celebrated CALIPH'S HOUSE: A Year in Casablanca, lauded as one of Time Magazine's Top 10 Books of the year.
His other works include an epic quest through Peru's cloud forest for the greatest lost city of the Incas (HOUSE OF THE TIGER KING), as well as a journey through Ethiopia in search of the source of King Solomon's gold (IN SEARCH OF KING SOLOMON'S MINES). Previous to that, Shah published an account of a journey through the Amazon on the trail of the Birdmen of the Amazon (TRAIL OF FEATHERS), as well as a book of his experiences in India, as a godman's pupil (SORCERER'S APPRENTICE).
Tahir Shah's books have appeared in thirty languages and in more than seventy editions. They are celebrated for their original viewpoint, and for combining hardship with vivid description.
He also makes documentary films, which are shown worldwide on National Geographical Television, and The History Channel. The latest, LOST TREASURE OF AFGHANISTAN, has been screened on British TV and shown worldwide. While researching the programme Shah was arrested along with his film crew and incarcerated in a Pakistani torture jail, where they spent sixteen terrifying days and nights.
His other documentaries include: HOUSE OF THE TIGER KING, SEARCH FOR THE LOST CITY OF GOLD, and THE SEARCH FOR KING SOLOMON'S MINES. And, in addition to documentaries, Shah writes for the big screen. His best known work in this genre is the award-winning Imax feature JOURNEY TO MECCA, telling the tale of the fourteenth century Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta's first pilgrimage to Mecca.
Tahir Shah lives at Dar Khalifa, a sprawling mansion set squarely in the middle of a Casablanca shantytown. He's married to the graphic designer, Rachana Shah, and has two children, Ariane and Timur. His father was the Sufi writer, Idries Shah.
This book is very different from Shah's other works in the sense that it is a novel, based on historical fact.
Tahir's penchant for interesting detail and peculiar characters makes for an intriguing and gripping story that really gives one the feeling of being there.
From beginning to end I thoroughly enjoyed reading Timbuctoo on Kindle, and I can't wait to get my copy of the hard cover book!
Timbuctoo is written in the tradition and carries the tone and address of the classics such as Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby. Many characters are presented throughout. Read morePublished 7 months ago by D A Bale
If you enjoy reading books as much as I do, you certainly like a story well told. This embellished historical novel is superbly narrated and then some. Read morePublished 8 months ago by sylvie sevigny
A compelling read of an unusual kind.
This is a narrative (see other reviews for story line) with many arrows in its quiver and many reflections in its mirror,... Read more
Tahir Shah's finest work to date. Excellently written and constantly engaging. A love story, a travelogue and so much more. A wonderfully enjoyable read.Published 11 months ago by david capaldi
tahir Shah at his finest.
The Book is an absolute pleasure to read,
I highly recommend it
The book is handsomely crafted, a true pleasure to the... Read more
During the 14th century Timbuctoo was a centre of rich culture and learning with a flourishing trade in salt, gold, ivory and slaves. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Pamela King
Once again Shah has produced a masterpiece of writing. His language is magical and his story line reflects his deep and abiding love of both language & humanity. Read morePublished 12 months ago by L. I. Shuffle
This book is the most unusual I have come across for quite some time. It is set in the regency period when our aptly named 'Mad' King George III was on the throne of Britain and... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bodicia
For Westerners today, Timbuktu is simply a synonym for a very remote and insignificant place, which happens to be a dusty town in Mali, on the south side of the Sahara, which only... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Gordon Bruce Smith