The Amur River

The Amur River

Between Russia and China

Summary

'Thubron on top form. Richly detailed, immaculately written and full of insights and encounters that bring a complex corner of the world to life' Michael Palin

*As serialised on BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week*

*Winner of the 2022 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards*
*Shortlisted for 2021 Duff Cooper Prize*
**A FINANCIAL TIMES, SUNDAY TELEGRAPH AND SPECTATOR BOOK OF THE YEAR**
**ONE OF THE DAILY TELEGRAPH'S BEST 75 BOOKS OF 2021**

________________________

A dramatic and ambitious new journey from our greatest travel writer.

The Amur River is almost unknown. Yet it is the tenth longest river in the world, rising in the Mongolian mountains and flowing through Siberia to the Pacific to form the tense, highly fortified border between Russia and China.

In his eightieth year, Colin Thubron takes a dramatic 3,000-mile long journey from the Amur's secret source to its giant mouth. Harassed by injury and by arrest from the local police, he makes his way along both the Russian and Chinese shores on horseback, on foot, by boat and via the Trans-Siberian Railway, talking to everyone he meets. By the time he reaches the river's desolate end, where Russia's nineteenth-century imperial dream petered out, a whole, pivotal world has come alive.

The Amur River is a shining masterpiece by the acknowledged laureate of travel writing, an urgent lesson in history and the culmination of an astonishing career.

'Magnificent... Colin Thubron's observations on the relationship between Russia and China are full of insight, from which the world can benefit as it faces the challenges of the twenty-first century' Jung Chang

Reviews

  • A miraculous late-style masterpiece, the equal of any of [Thubron's] earlier works, which will cement his reputation as one of our greatest prose writers in any genre... The Amur River is not just a literary triumph in itself, it is also a demonstration of the continued power of great travel writing
    William Dalrymple, Daily Telegraph

About the author

Colin Thubron

Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing, and the winner of many prizes and awards. His first writing was about the Middle East - Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled into the Soviet Union in an ancient Morris Marina, pursued by the KGB, a journey he recorded in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books: Behind the Wall (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Award), The Lost Heart of Asia, In Siberia (Prix Bouvier) and Shadow of the Silk Road. His most recent book is To a Mountain in Tibet (all available in Vintage). Colin Thubron was President of the Royal Society of Literature from 2010 to 2017.
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