Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: Journeys on the Silk Road by Joyce Morgan & Conrad Walters

When a Chinese monk broke into a hidden cave in 1900, he uncovered one of the world’s great literary secrets: a time capsule from the ancient Silk Road. Inside, scrolls were piled from floor to ceiling, undisturbed for a thousand years. The gem within was the Diamond Sutra of AD 868. This key Buddhist teaching, made 500 years before Gutenberg inked his press, is the world’s oldest printed book.

The Silk Road once linked China with the Mediterranean. It conveyed merchants, pilgrims and ideas. But its cultures and oases were swallowed by shifting sands. Central to the Silk Road’s rediscovery was a man named Aurel Stein, a Hungarian-born scholar and archaeologist employed by the British service.

Undaunted by the vast Gobi Desert, Stein crossed thousands of desolate miles with his fox terrier Dash. Stein met the Chinese monk and secured the Diamond Sutra and much more. The scroll’s journey—by camel through arid desert, by boat to London’s curious scholars, by train to evade the bombs of World War II—merges an explorer’s adventures, political intrigue, and continued controversy.

The Diamond Sutra has inspired Jack Kerouac and the Dalai Lama. Its journey has coincided with the growing appeal of Buddhism in the West. As the Gutenberg Age cedes to the Google Age, the survival of the Silk Road’s greatest treasure is testament to the endurance of the written word.

Received for review.

This was my first introduction to the story of the Diamond Sutra and I have to say it was quite the informative and fun journey!

The book was extremely well written with the feel of an Indiana Jones movie in book form.  It perfectly conveyed the adventure and intrigue of the journey and left you wanting to read more at the end of each chapter.  The quotes from the Diamond Sutra sprinkled throughout were enigmatic yet intriguing and only added to the reading experience.

I certainly recommend this to those looking for an intellectual adventure.

★★★☆☆ = Liked It


Ryan said...

Sounds like a fun read, I may have to remember this one.

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