In Xanadu [William Dalrymple] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This is an account of the quest which took William Dalrymple and his. IN XANADU [William Dalrymple] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The author recounts his experiences as he retraced the route followed. At the age of twenty-two, William Dalrymple left his college in Cambridge to travel to the ruins of Kublai Khan’s stately pleasure dome in Xanadu.
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At best, this book is comical in its approach. It is certainly not deserving of the label of a serious travel book.
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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — In Xanadu by William Dalrymple. A Quest by William Dalrymple. While waiting for the results of his college exams, William Dalrymple decides to fill in his summer ni with a trip.
But the vacation he plans is no light-hearted student jaunt – he xanady to retrace the epic journey of Marco Polo from Jerusalem to Xanadu, the ruined palace of Kubla Khan, north of Peking. For the first half of the trip he is accompanied by Laura, whom h While waiting for the results of his college exams, William Dalrymple decides to fill in his summer break with a trip.
For the first half of the trip he is accompanied by Laura, whom he met at a dinner party two weeks before he left; for the second half he is accompanied by Louisa, his very recently ex-girlfriend.
Intelligent and funny, “In Xanadu” is travel writing at its best. Paperbackpages. Published April 1st by Lonely Planet Publications first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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Aug 08, Antara rated it really liked it. I love William Dalrymple for the simple fact that he writes about his amazing travels through a seamless blend of fact and fiction. Having read and loved his City of Djinns a must-read if you’re a DilliwalaNine Lives and White Mughals, I have loved this first book of his as well.
In this book, the author, a final year Cambridge student, tries to backpack his way through the route Marco Polo had taken – Turkey, Iran and finally China, in the Inner Mongols in Xanadu where Marco Polo ended his I love William Dalrymple for the simple fact that he writes about his amazing travels through a seamless blend of fact and fiction.
In this book, the author, a final year Cambridge student, tries to backpack his way through the route Marco Polo had taken – Turkey, Iran and finally China, in the Inner Mongols in Xanadu where Marco Polo ended his voyage.
In Xanadu – William Dalrymple
In volatile political conditions, with a nomad’s eye, a sometimes cynical sense of humor and only a 13th century book to guide him, the author takes the reader through time. With him we experience the creation of history, the readiness to savor the unexpected and the realization of why humans dalrumple centuries have been driven xabadu wanderlust for the unknown – because, more often than not, it is quite literally the journey and not the destination that matters.
A Thousand and One Tales from the Silk Road This is quite simply an enchanting book and for two interconnected dalrymppe. The first and most striking reason is that Dalrymple manages to capture and convey the shear sense of wonder and excitement that comes from traveling across the world when young. So young, in fact, that I kept having to remind myself that he was only 22 when he wrote it. If that were its only noteworthy aspect the book would be just one of many other worthy works of travel and ex A Thousand and One Tales from the Silk Road This is quite simply an enchanting book and for two interconnected reasons.
If that were its only noteworthy aspect the book would be just one of many other worthy works of travel and exploration. What makes Dalrymple’s book so compelling is his extensive grasp of the history and culture of xamadu lands through which he traveled.
I like to think that I have read a little of the literature relevant to the countries he passed through but xanafu and again I was brought up short by some tale of a character, event or place of which I had never heard but that had caught Dalrymple’s imagination and whose story he wished to share. He proved to be a teller of tales every bit as adept and entrancing as Scheherazade. The premise of the book is that after graduating Dalrymple wanted to re-trace the footsteps of Marco Polo from Jerusalem across Asia Minor and deep into the heart of Asia in search of the legendary Xanadu.
To do daorymple he had to pass through Israel, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Wliliam, Pakistan and China, visiting some of the most important dalrgmple memorable sites of antiquity on the way.
He made his journey in the late 80s meaning that his journey, although maybe not as perilous or difficult, was a worthy dalrgmple to Marco Polo’s epic voyage. Since reading In Xanadu I have gone on to read several other books by Dalrymple xanaud while his dalrykple style is a little more settled and refined I look back on this first journey I shared with him with a special fondness for its marvelous exuberance and sense of the infinite possibility of youth.
View williamm 3 comments. A fun trek across the continent. Full of entertaining anecdotes, colorful characters and challenges. Well worth the read. Recommended to me by my daughter who was spot on once again. Dalrymple entertains with his British wit, colorful portrayals, sense of adventure and caricatures of his fellow travels. Although a fun read, it gives the reader historical context as well as a look at the different cultures.
Recommend for Around the World readers. Dec 18, Kartik rated it liked it. The year is A young William Dalrymple, not yet a travel writer of international renown, sets off on a journey to retrace the journey Marco Polo took in the 13th century, from Jerusalem to the fabled East Asian capital of Kublai Khan, over land.
In Xanadu is an account of his travels, a tumultuous series of events that see a young, privileged Westerner forced out of his wi,liam zone and thrown into the deep end. Dalrymple’s narration paints a colorful picture of the various valrymple he passes The year is Dalrymple’s narration paints a colorful picture of the various regions he passes through over the course of his journey, with historical anecdotes and stories that build context and add an added layer of perspective to the narration, with references from numerous earlier travelers and descriptions of the cities and how they’ve building a larger backdrop against which the narration plays out.
Tinges of humor willim some commentary on the social conditions places he visits add flavor to the text.
Book Review: William Dalrymple – In Xanadu: A Quest
Often highly descriptive, Dalrymple’s writing, with his eye for detail especially when it comes to architecturehelps drive the narration and often makes what is ultimately a personal account rather compelling storytelling.
Despite the greater background context and the research put into the building it, the book lacks a human perspective, with stereotyping and a certain condescension towards the various locals he meets and even befriends showing an unwillingness to engage with the very places whose history he holds in such wonder.
This only serves to dampen and lessen the effect the book otherwise has, making it two-dimensional in more aspects than one. Sometimes you feel the book is more about Dalrymple’s own personal musings and his love of history and architecture than the journey and the places themselves. Aug 16, Adi rated it liked it Shelves: He then immortalized his journey in The Travels, which later became one of the most detailed pieces of travel writing ever completed.
In Xanadu: A Quest by William Dalrymple
In his first book, the then year old Mr. Darlymple takes readers back on the same route, attempting at every page to compare and re-live the experience that Polo may have felt on his epic journey.
In an age where thousands of miles are shrunk into a ten-hour ride in an aluminum tube, Xanadu refreshes the reader by painting the gradual transitions that are an essential part of going from one place to another.
The appearance of the lamps in the Holy Sepulcher, the design of Turkish mosques, a rare silk mill in a Armenian village or the vivid descriptions of a Uighur market in China — the details are just beautiful. Darlymple is clearly of scholarly leanings, a fact brought out repeatedly in the intricate descriptions of the architecture, and his ability to go back to some little-known text to draw a comparison between the present and the past.
Little vignettes — like that of a very helpful Turkish innkeeper, a mullah at a bus station in the Iran-Afghan border, and a persistent Chinese saleswoman, known simply as Ms.
Its his ability to pick interesting bits from seemingly mundane journeys sets this book apart. However, the same attention to detail that makes the book outstanding tends to get overly erudite at times. I would have loved to see a piece with a little less architectural descriptions and more color on the fantastic and varied bunch of people he encountered along the way.
May 11, Lianne added it.
Because I am a fan of obscure literary travel memoirs, I picked up this book at a library book sale. It’s xabadu under-the-radar account of a Cambridge student’s trip in the ‘s.
His mission is to take holy oil from the Church of the Holy Sepulcre, just as Marco Polo did, when he was deputized to deliver it to Kubla Khan. History claims that the Khan had contacts and Because I am a fan of obscure literary travel memoirs, I picked up this book wilkiam a library book sale.
History claims that the Khan had contacts and was a believer in Nestorian Christianity. This now heretical offshoot had penetrated xandau Asia, probably through Armenia.
Dalrymple travels with two women: The modern day adventure seems more dangerous than it may have been for Marco Polo who as a merchant traveled the then well supplied Silk Road with its caravanserai and inns.
The trip is completed after the Iranian revolution but before the Soviet conflict in Afghanistan and before the border to China were more open. Much of the trip involves the physical deprivation of derelict buses and trucks lumbering their way through potholes and sandstorms. Dalrymple bungles his way through border checkpoints and tries to work around the requirements of special permits.
Xanadu itself lies within a weapons development zone. With just hours remaining before he and his companion must catch their connections for their flight out of Peking, they do visit the actual site of Xanadu.
It is an anticlimax but their trip is all about the journey they have endured rather than any romance of reaching their destination. Though uneven in its writing, Dalrymple includes interesting detail of everyday observation and encounters.
Best for armchair travelers even before the Rough and Lonely Planet Guides were published Apr 16, Ahimsa rated it liked it. This is a fine book, very enjoyable at times. The history is incorporated very well, the journey documented is fascinating and the captured bits of dialogue are unbelievably great. To many times, Dalrymple relies on architectural details of sepulchers, arches, and tombs. There are very little of logistics here, which would be interesting: What did they bring?
How did they resupply? And almost nothing is said of the scenic Karakoram Highway This is a fine book, very enjoyable at times.
In Xanadu: A Quest
And almost nothing is said of the scenic Karakoram Xanwdu. He seems to think that going to bed unshowered or being unable to order tea to his hotel room is genuine hardship, but frequently he really does encounter real sickness, discomfort, and bureaucratic nightmares.
Worse is his classism and upper-class biases. Is there anyone who still thinks Oxford and Cambridge are actually superior schools?