- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Garnet Publishing (August 17, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1859643000
- ISBN-13: 978-1859643006
- Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,447,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Tearing up the Silk Road: A Modern Journey from China to Istanbul, through Central Asia, Iran and the Caucasus Paperback – August 17, 2012
"Tearing up the Silk Road is a book that deftly avoids romanticising the Silk Road and instead gives a realistic, sometimes harsh, appraisal of the countries passed through. Travellers too, will appreciate the intense focus on the nuts and bolts of travelling through the region ... It's Coote's account of the ideological battle between the East and the West in the region that adds depth to the book. He notes that the real clash is between the few who have much and the masses demanding more."
- Wanderlust Magazine
" The author writes with a wonderful depth and precision so as to engross you in his journey, providing adventure with a unique and revealing perspective for life along the silk road."
- Bare Essentials Magazine
"If you've ever had the urge to chuck in your day job, step outside your comfort zone and strap yourself in for a rugged cultural journey, this is for you."
- Get Lost Magazine
"An entertaining read that will inspire greater interest in the region."
- Central Asia Magazine
About the Author
Tom Coote is currently working on his second book 'Voodoo, Slaves and White Man's Graves: West Africa and the End of Days'. He has traveled independently in well over a hundred countries and regularly updates his web site at tomcoote.net.
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The book is about Mr Coote's journey along the Silk Road.
I found the book quite entertaining. Mr Coote has a very dry, very English writing style. He is a late-30s(?) backpacker who decided to write about his trip along the Silk Road. The most notable difference between Mr Coote's writing style and those of the great travel writers is that he has a quite disinterested, irreverent style. He visits great sites and does not overtly seem to appreciate them. He has no passion for the places he visits and that shines through (which is ashame as there are so few books on this region and he had a real opportunity to talk about its wonders). He does, though, make many amusing anecdotes and parts of the book are quite funny. He is at his best when commenting on `modern-day culture', such as how the people in a town act and look - having finished the trip through the region, I do not agree with many of them; however, the book is still entertaining in many parts.
I should also note that Mr Coote makes various cultural references about England; as such, if you are not au fait with (for example) English television, you may not appreciate parts of the book. Saying that, if you like his writing style, you should still enjoy the book.
I would recommend this book for people travelling along the Silk Road in the near future. I say near future as it is highly likely that many of the places that Mr Coote writes about will be very different in a few short years. If you want a book that looks at the sites of interest or history of the region, I would suggest other books.
Here's an extract:
"After having left my luggage at the Marco Polo Bumpy Dumpy Homestay & Hostel I went out to explore Almaty/Tashkent/Shiva/Jerevan/Eshafan (tick off what suits you best) After having explored all the top attractions listed by Lonely Planet and given some dull historical background, I went to find a burger. After having eaten the burger, I went back to my hostel, where I drank my usual coffee with milk and met Tom, Dick and Harry from Belgium, who are cycling around the world, being almost as boring as myself. After having talked in detail with Tom, Dick and Harry about toilets and burgers, we went out to eat another burger. I was amazed about how expensive burgers are in Uzbekistan/Turkmenistan/Iran/China/Turkey (take your pick) All the people we met, wanted to have their photos taken with me. I think it's because of my long hair.
After being photographed by everyone in the entire city, I drank a coffee with milk. After having drunk a coffee with milk, I wondered if I should explore some more sights given in Lonely Planet or eat a burger. I ended up exploring the city so that more people could have their photos taken with me. After having let the entire population of the city have their photo taken, I met Jenny and Jilly from Switzerland, who are on their life's adventure, walking backwards between Siberia and the Arabian peninsula in their gap year. We were all taken aback at how much things cost in this country.
Before going to bed, after having drunk another coffee with milk, I was a bit pissed off because I realized I won't be making 100 countries on this trip. Then I decided that Scotland, Wales, Hong Kong, Bavaria, Texas, Florida, California, Jersey, Guernsey and Yorkshire are in fact countries, at least in my definition, and then I have seen 1000 countries or whatever after all. After having discovered this, I went to the toilet. After being to the toilet, I slept well.