Extremes Along the Silk Road - Nick Middleton

Extremes Along the Silk Road by Nick Middleton is an experience. It is a simple account of the climatic extremes along  the fabled silk road and a complex chronicle of human resilience. As he experiences the extremes of climate and life along this ancient trade route, from the scorching deserts of Mongolia to the icy Tibet and from the towering sand dunes of China to the rolling steppe's of Kazakhstan, he gives a warm insight into how these extremes have shaped human existence, their culture, their beliefs and above all their sense of purpose.

A note on the comparison between this and From Heaven Lake:
At this point, having finished Vikram Seth's From Heaven Lake just before this, I cannot help but compare the two. While Seth's narrative focuses on the journey itself with the experiences along the way remaining secondary, Middleton's narrative is like an amusing documentary, with the experiences taking a high seat and the journey being secondary. Not to mention, while Seth's writing comes with a fair share of nail-biting twists (he is an exceptional fictionist, remember?), Middleton's writing is almost academic (he teaches geography). :)

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