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The Lost Heart of Asia (P.S.) di Colin…
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The Lost Heart of Asia (P.S.) (originale 1994; edizione 2008)

di Colin Thubron

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601930,884 (3.73)9
A land of enormous proportions, countless secrets, and incredible history, Central Asia--the heart of the great Mongol empire of Tamerlane, site of the legendary Silk Route and scene of Stalin's cruelest deportations--is a remote and fascinating region. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of newly independent republics, Central Asia--containing the magical cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, and terrain as diverse as the Kazakh steppes, the Karakum desert, and the Pamir mountains--has been in a constant state of transition. The Lost Heart of Asia takes readers into the very heart of this little visited, yet increasingly important region, delivering a rare and moving portrayal of a world in the midst of change.… (altro)
Utente:toread1
Titolo:The Lost Heart of Asia (P.S.)
Autori:Colin Thubron
Info:Harper Perennial (2008), Paperback, 400 pages
Collezioni:La tua biblioteca
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Etichette:travel, travel literature, asia

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Il cuore perduto dell'Asia di Colin Thubron (1994)

Aggiunto di recente dacriera, SapperL, davidd, Anhrefn, Daniel464, NickTaipei, llibreprovenza
Biblioteche di personaggi celebriJuice Leskinen
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    Sovietistan. Un viaggio in Asia centrale di Erika Fatland (karatelpek)
    karatelpek: Similar travels around Central Asia, but more contemporary (takes place in the 2010s).
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» Vedi le 9 citazioni

Este libro responde a inquietantes cuestiones como: ¿Está cerca el fin del nuestra era? ¿Seguirán cumpliéndose las profecías con la inquietante exactitud con que lo han hecho hasta ahora?
  Daniel464 | Sep 12, 2021 |
If I could have a long all-expenses paid trip somewhere, it'd be Central Asia, which is just fascinating. And this account of the author's journey into all the republics is quite beautifully, lyrically written.
A while ago I reviewed a travelogue and complained of the paucity/ quality of its photos. There are none here but you never feel the need of them. Mr Thubron does the photographer's job with his words. ( )
  starbox | Mar 30, 2020 |
Hmm. So far, p 57, he's spent a lot of time drinking under the desert sun with the men. Now I suppose he's going to have trouble spending time getting to know the women, seeing as he's male and this is a culture of divided gender roles, but I hope he does find a way to learn more about the people who are actually getting things done.

His focus seems to be more on history, ancient, recent, and future. Long ago the region was more rich and powerful due to the Silk Road (?) and its precursors (?), then Islam came, and the Soviets, and now the Soviets have left, so, what's next?

I think I need to do some research. As I wrote the above I realized just how sketchy my understanding of the region is....

Ok, almost 1/2 done. Still dry. I don't feel like I'm meeting individual people or seeing separate places. Everybody is a type, either a blond Turcoman who looks too Russian to be safe, or a Turcoman who misses the Soviet rule. Everybody thinks that London is in America, or England is right next to Istanbul and America is just beyond that. Young women don't realize that their peers a few hundred miles away wear the veil. Nobody likes the Iranians. And everything is dead and dusty - and the Soviets aren't the only ones to blame. The only fancy thing is the purple prose.

Oh, and nothing happens. 'My driver took me out to Ghost Town number 4 and took a nap while I fought the wind/ heat/ cold to look up at the only minaret left. Then we had tea at his brother's house.' Repeat....

Ok. I read the last chapter. Believe it or not, it was exactly like my summary of the first several. So, I give up. Thubron's efforts to make my efforts feel just as futile as the lives of these 'lost' people were effective.
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 5, 2016 |
Recent travelers to Central Asia include Colin Thubron, whose “The Lost Heart of Asia” (1994) covers more or less the area we traveled. Except that Thubron did this 20 years ago, when the Stans were clearly the ex-Soviet republics. One of the themes of the book is indeed how the Stans will develop, whether communism will come back, or Muslim fundamentalism will establish itself, or the Pan-Turkic region of influence will emerge, indeed something that I recall was debated at the time (when I was living in Turkey). Thubron is not one of my all-time favourites, but this is perhaps the best of his books I have read so far, a mix of history - including more and less relevant, yet entertaining anecdotes -, adventure travel and genuine contacts with the locals, which makes for a very personal story. He combines an extensive knowledge with a willingness to learn, a rare quality in mature travel writers. ( )
  theonearmedcrab | Jan 13, 2016 |
The geographic descriptions left me a bit cold, but that's true of most travel writers. Meanwhile, there are passages in here that read like a novel; absolutely brilliant prose. Thubron's knowledge of the history of the region and his deft handling of its inhabitants is extraordinary. Central Asia is rarely discussed, but has been the crossroads of history and is even know undergoing significant change with great implications for the world at large. A bastardized form of Islam begins to inhabit the rotting corpse of a defeated colonial power in an area filled with crime and economic deprivation. Relevant? Absolutely.
  BrianFannin | May 31, 2013 |
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A land of enormous proportions, countless secrets, and incredible history, Central Asia--the heart of the great Mongol empire of Tamerlane, site of the legendary Silk Route and scene of Stalin's cruelest deportations--is a remote and fascinating region. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of newly independent republics, Central Asia--containing the magical cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, and terrain as diverse as the Kazakh steppes, the Karakum desert, and the Pamir mountains--has been in a constant state of transition. The Lost Heart of Asia takes readers into the very heart of this little visited, yet increasingly important region, delivering a rare and moving portrayal of a world in the midst of change.

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