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THE A5 BOOK REVIEW
One of the true classics of travel writing is The Road to Oxiana, written by the eccentric Robert Byron describing his travels with a friend through the Middle East in 1933-34. His ten-month journey took him through Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Persia, and Afghanistan. He kept a detailed journal describing his observations, his struggles, and his discoveries. Traveling in this region was demanding, and his descriptions of hunger, thirst, fleas, lice, and even a quick imprisonment bring much of the charm of the book. Byron was interested in architecture, and the book provides a rare view into some architectural wonders not normally accessible to Westerners. Byron's book is a widely respected and groundbreaking travelogue, highly praised by other top travel writers like Bruce Chatwin who called it "a sacred text, beyond criticism".
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A5 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THOSE WHO LIKED THIS BOOK
GREAT QUOTES FROM THE ROAD TO OXIANA
"Precipitous paths and flights of steps led up through chapels, halls, cisterns, to the topmost platform and its sentinel tower. Below the gleaming silver crags and stunted green-feathered pines, the mountain fell three thousand feet to the coastal plain, an endless panorama of rusty red speckled with myriads of little trees and their shadows, beyond which, sixty miles away across the blue sea, appeared the line of Asia Minor and the Taurus Mountains. Even sieges must have had their compensations when solaced by such a view."
"Hawk-eyed and eagle-beaked, the swarthy loose-knit men swing through the dark bazaar with a devil-may-care self-confidence. They carry rifles to go shopping as Londoners carry umbrellas. Such ferocity is partially histrionic. The rifles may not go off. The physique is not so impressive in the close-fitting uniform of the soldiers. Even the glare of the eyes is often due to makeup. But it is a tradition; in a country where the law runs uncertainly, the mere appearance of force is half the battle of ordinary business."
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THE MAP OF OXIANA, AFGHANISTAN