Recently, a friend who is an avid traveller and who is usually known for understating things, gushed about The Road to Oxiana, a book by Robert Byron that he had read innumerable times. I was intrigued at his enthusiasm and wished for a copy. While the immediate thing to do in this click of a button day and age is to order from Amazon, I still prefer to take a different route, via a second hand book store.
After a meeting with a client at MG Road I dropped by at Bookworm and looked through the travel section. This beautiful blue hardbound copy was just lying there waiting to be found and taken. This is serendipity.
The Road to Oxiana is considered the greatest of all pre-war travel books. I quote Paul Fussell, "What Ulysses is to the novel between the wars, and what The Waste Land is to poetry, The Road to Oxiana is to the travel book."
I will probably add an excerpt or two here after I read the book, but for now, here is a review of Robert Byron: