From an acclaimed travel writer comes a contemporary journey of historic riches from China to Pakistan along the northern route of the Silk Road.
Millennia older than California's Camino Real, and perhaps even a few years older than the roads of the Roman Empire, the Silk Road is a network of routes stretching from delta towns of China all the way to the Mediterranean Sea--a cultural highway essential to the development of some of the world's oldest civilizations.
In 1992, celebrated translator, writer, and scholar Bill Porter left his home in Hong Kong to travel from China to Pakistan by way of this storied, often treacherous path. With an old friend and a plastic bottle of whiskey, Porter chose to embark on the anniversary of Hong Kong's liberation from the Japanese after World War II. He completed the journey in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, at the end of the monsoon season.
Weaving travel anecdotes with the mythology of China and its surrounding regions, Porter exposes a world of card-sharks, unheard-of ethnic minorities, terracotta soldiers, nuclear experiments in the desert, love-struck emperors, monks with miracle tongues, and a giant Buddha relaxing to music played by an invisible band. Thanks to Porter's keen eye for cultural idiosyncrasies and vast knowledge of history, The Silk Road
is an enlightening work from an expert travel writer.
"Fans of Owen Lattimore, The Road to Oxiana
, Aurel Stein, and other like-minded ventures and adventurers will find Porter's latest a pleasure and an inspiration." --Kirkus Reviews