In Xanadu

In Xanadu

eBook - 2012
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William Dalrymple's award-winning first book: his classic, fiercely intelligent and wonderfully entertaining account of his journey across Marco Polo's 700-year-old route from Jerusalem to Xanadu, the summer palace of Kubla Khan.nbsp;
At the age of twenty-two, Dalrymple left his college in Cambridge to travel to the ruins of Kubla Khan's stately pleasure dome in Xanadu. As he and his companions travel across the width of Asia--crossing through Acre, Aleppo, Tabriz, Tashkurgan, and other mysterious and sometimes hellish places--they encounter dusty, forgotten roads, unexpected hospitality, and difficult challenges. Stylish, witty, and knowledgeable about everything from the dreaded order of Assassins to the hidden origins of the Three Magi, this is travel writing at its best.
Publisher: New York, N.Y. : Vintage Books, 2012
Edition: 1st Vintage Departures ed
ISBN: 9780307948915
Branch Call Number: Overdrive eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource : ill., maps


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Jan 09, 2015

As the author admits in his "Acknowledgements", this book is too long. The lengthy digressions to the travelogues of Marco Polo and others can be tedious and distracting -- so I tended to "fast forward" to the resumption of Dalrymple's account. The author has an obvious knowledge of architecture but his in-detail descriptions can be daunting. To accomplish his trip between university terms the author zips across Pakistan in 3 days, is frog-marched out of China in 6 days, and lingers in 'Xanadu' for about 15 minutes.

JeremiahSutherland May 05, 2014

One of your more boring travel stories. The one saving grace is that the book was written about 25 years ago when the author was a callow youth. Perhaps age has seasoned him.


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Jan 09, 2015

The author and two companions follow the path of Marco Polo across the Levant and central Asia. The travel narratives of Marco Polo and other ancient travellers are interwoven with the experiences and adventures of Dalrymple and friends. The author has a knack for capturing dialogue that reveals cultural differences. Some superb black and white photographs and simple maps compliment the text; and a bibliography and an index are provided. This trip, in 1986, would be impossible today due to the civil wars and other turmoil along the route.


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