Tearing up the Silk Road
by Tom CooteImprint: Garnet Authors: Tom Coote ISBN: 9781859643006 Size: 216 x 138 Binding: Paperback Publication Date: August 2012 RRP:
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
Mixing history, local politics and daily dietary details (not to mention the ablutions again) Tom set himself a hard task. Scornful of backpackers in groups who just fly in and spray the view with their digital cameras - this is a book about a man determined to extract all the juice out of the hostel/backpack/lone-tourist-in-a-hurry experience. Whether waiting for visas to get into Tashkent or finding that your bus driver has disappeared with all your possessions (that seemed to happen often) or trying to smile even though there is a gun pointed at your head - this is dangerous travel for the reader. Tom has done all the hard work for you. You NEVER have to attempt this journey.Sam North, The International Writers Magazine
This book would make an excellent guide of things to do - and, perhaps, not to do - for anyone planning to attempt to follow the route of the Silk Road in our modern era.Desolation Travel, August 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
Tearing up the Silk Road is an irreverent travelogue that details a journey along the ancient trade routes from China to Istanbul, through Central Asia, Iran and the Caucasus. As Tom Coote struggles through the often arbitrary borders and bureaucracies of China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Armenia, Georgia and Turkey, it becomes apparent that the next generation will see themselves in a very different light to their predecessors. New forms of identity are emerging, founded more upon shared cultural preferences and aspirations, than on the remnants of tribal allegiance.
While rushing through from East to West, Tom Coote meets, befriends and argues with an epic range of characters; from soldiers and monks to pilgrims, travellers and modern day silk-road traders. All are striving for something more and most dream of being somewhere else.
By bus, train and battered car – through deserts, open plains and mountain ranges – Tom finds himself again and again at the front line of a desperate war for hearts and minds. Through rapidly expanding megacities, to ancient ruins, and far more recently created wastelands, it is the West that is winning the souls while the East grows ever stronger. The real clash of civilisations, however, seems set to be not between the East and the West, but between the few who have so much, and the masses now uniting to demand so much more.
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