Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures along China's Ancient Silk Road

Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures along China's Ancient Silk Road

by Stuart Stevens
     
 


The first account of travel in Chinese Turkistan, closed to foreigners since 1949, shows a world where bureaucratic hazards often loom larger than geographical ones. First serial to Esquire.See more details below

Overview


The first account of travel in Chinese Turkistan, closed to foreigners since 1949, shows a world where bureaucratic hazards often loom larger than geographical ones. First serial to Esquire.

Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia Inquirer
An intriguing and amusing account of a truly awful trip.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Stevens, a freelance journalist, filmmaker and political consultant, retraces explorer and author Peter Fleming's legendary 1935 journey through Chinese Turkistan from capital Beijing to remote, unpopulated Kashgar. Stevens was accompanied by three American friends, including Mark Salzman, whose Iron and Silk records his own extensive travels in China. In this colorful, simple narrative, the difficulties outweigh the pleasures as the foursome continually battles the bureaucratic nightmare of government control in China, where purchasing train tickets requires the combined skills of a rug merchant, diplomat and spy. They ride crowded, unheated buses that move at a snail's pace along rough roads and planes that fly low, nearly skimming the ground. They find that their hotels do not have basic amenities like running water and working toilets. Stevens portrays China and the Chinese in a negative, surely controversial, light (``China was like an army, ugly and inefficient, joyless and numbingly monotonous, with little use for art or literature''). Yet, he is also moved by flashes of individualism and rebellion, and by kindness. An aura of romantic adventure buffers the hardships he describes, linking the author and his literary forefather whose footsteps he followed across China. (May)
Library Journal
pap. $7.95. adventure Cold, windswept deserts, rundown hotels, bumpy, crowded buses, and evasive officials were the usual lot of four intrepid Americans intent on retracing the 1935 route of Peter Flaming and Ella Maillart through far western China. Unlike such adventurers as Charlotte Salisbury ( Long March Diary, LJ 2/1/86) who traveled with Chinese government sponsorship, Stevens and his friends ventured on their own. They met a succession of bureaucratic obstacles in the frontier towns of Dunhuang, Turpan, and Kashgar. Stevens's keen observation and wry comments will serve like-minded adventurers well. Elizabeth A. Teo, Moraine Valley Community Coll. Lib., Palos Hills, Ill.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780871131904
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/28/1994
Series:
Travel Series
Pages:
236
Sales rank:
1,030,834
Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.97(h) x 0.93(d)

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