THREADBARE TALES FROM SILK ROAD -
Tattered Theories and Rag-tag Field Research
45 years and 45 countries later, I have forged my field notes , photos
and drawings into this book detailing my travel adventures and observations.
Check out what others have to say and watch my video below.
In 1972, I traveled overland from London to New Delhi armed with little more than my journal and an unfettered curiosity about the world. Weary of academics without experience, I set out to cross borders of many kinds. 45 years and 45 countries later, my field notes provide the framework for THREADBARE TALES FROM SILK ROAD.
I travel in a world without benefit of bottled water and hand-held devices. My extreme travels bring me face-to-face with people soldiering on under the most humbling and challenging of conditions.
Along the way, I’m held at gunpoint in Pakistan, share a cave with a holy man in India, lift the curtain on a spiritual leader, and wade knee-deep in the Ganges River. During a short window of opportunity between war and rebellion, my book chronicles life along the Silk Road.This book is illustrated with my own period photographs and recent drawings.
A real "boots on the ground" travelogue that kept me turning pages and neglecting my chores. The narrative is full of memorable characters, broke down buses, rat infested hostels, dysentery, wandering sadhus and tight situations that take place in at least three of the more dangerous countries in the world. I would also commend the author on his clear eyed bits of commentary in regards to historic context as well as cultural and political insight.
There are crazy coincidences and hilarious circumstances aplenty, but in the end it's a bittersweet tale of young man's hard won education in a paradoxical world. I loved that the book had a gritty authenticity and fast pace, but I wish it could have been longer and gone into more detail in places. - J.L. Sartain
Wow! This is not your typical travel diary. You will laugh and cry, and you will be astounded by the author's wild (and sometimes near-death) adventures in Europe, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, and India.
Traveling in the early '70s as a naive 20-something Dylan-loving American kid with his new wife, Anderson demonstrates a remarkable non-judgmental appreciation of the distinct cultural and personal experiences he encounters in his "extreme" travels.
He witnesses the religious tensions and the political upheavals, as well as the inequities and struggles in the societies he visits and he doesn't shy away from close encounters with the underclasses. At the same time, he senses the special responsibilities of the western tourist and resists ethnocentrism while visiting some of the poorest places on earth.
You won't be able to put this book down and you will most likely crave even more. - Barbara Greenhill
Check out this short video, narrated by me, James Anderson.
Let's go on an overland trip from London to New Delhi, and beyond.