Interested in a new book?


Interested in a new book? read the subject line in an e-mail I got one slow Olympic day in August.  Opening it up it read:

I've been browsing through your blog, and it looks like Timbuctoo might be of interest to you. It takes place in Africa, and was written by British author Tahir Shah who lives in Morocco. I thought I'd check to see if you might be interested. I've included some info below so you can decide whether it's something you'd like to read. Please let me know if you'd be interested in receiving a digital copy.


I replied almost immediatley:

With the Olympics winding down...Timbuctoo sounds like just the right book to dive into. 

But after three weeks of reading my first Tahir Shah book, I still don't know what to make of it. One thing I was sure about as I clicked to the last page today was the ending is just what hard luck blues protagonist, Robert Adams, needed in a world with the odds stacked against him--put a foot wrong and you had every chance of being kidnapped or trafficked as Adams was.

Shah, we are told, came to the story almost twenty years ago 
when he noticed an inch-thick quarto-sized book propping up a water pipe in the basement of the London Library. Pulling it out, he first set eyes on Robert Adams’ Narrative, published by John Murray in 1816.

The book became an obsession to Shah, just as Regency London was itself fixated with the golden metropolis of Timbuctoo. Packed with well-researched detail of the time, and inspired by Adams’ ordeal, TIMBUCTOO is a fast-past and compelling read. It’s a tale of treachery, greed, love, betrayal and, above all else, of survival in the face of insurmountable odds.

Still mulling over what I feel about Shah's old tale, I stumble upon him in September 3's Trouble in Timbuktu. Here he breaks down legends  for another era Against Shah's backdrop of modern-day events, I'm going back to his mythical Timbuctoo to read it with fresh eyes.

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