REVIEW Travels with a Tangerine A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah 107


Travels with a Tangerine A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah

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Cing us to a world of unimaginable wonders By necessity Mackintosh Smith’s journey may have cut some corners “I only wish I had the odd thirty years to spare and Ibn Battutah’s enviable knack of extracting large amounts of cash robes and slaves from compliant rulers” But in this wry evocative and uniuely engaging travelogue he spares no effort in giving readers an unforgettable glimpse into both the present day and fourteenth century Islamic worlds. One of the best travel writers around

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In 1325 the great Arab traveler Ibn Battutah set out from his native Tangier in North Africa on pilgrimage to Mecca By the time he returned nearly thirty years later he had seen most of the known world covering three times the distance allegedly traveled by the great Venetian explorer Marco Polo some 75000 miles in all Captivated by Ibn Battutah’s account of his journey the Arabic scholar and award winning travel writer Tim Mackintosh Smith set out to fo. This is going to be a really objective reviewThe book is about an intelligent and witty Englishman who travels through the Middle East in the footsteps of a great Islamic travel writerAlright so I lied I would have given five stars without reading a single page But I did read it and I discovered some other reasons for doing so Tim Mackintosh Smith starts out from Ibn Battutah's underwhelming tomb in Tangiers Morocco and journeys through Egypt Syria Oman Turkey and the Crimea Ibn Battutah himself had travelled further than that even reaching China but these places offer than enough material for one bookThe author recounts Ibn Battutah's writings meets people who can tell him and then compares what he has heard to his own experiences This leads to an interesting portrait You see how difficult it is to travel those routes today but that it was way difficult in the 14th century The perception of travellers of the importance of culture and religion has changed as well and it is fascinating to see this documentedMackintosh Smith brings his own sense of humour which is something I always love in a travel writer He's not offensive but he is very cheeky at times In all his observations you can feel his love for the subject and it is always an enjoyable read for me when I can see that the author enjoyed itEvery now and then his explanations are accompanied by illustrations done by Martin Yeoman They feel like the sort of unfinished sketches you would do if you saw something on a journey and that makes them feel authentic I also like it because I can then imagine what the finished painting or place might look like and as a result I spend time with those than with finished paintingsMackintosh Smith has also presented a travel documentary for the BBC that follows this book After reading this I really want to see itWhen Tim Mackintosh Smith reaches the end of his journey in Istanbul there isn't a lot of reflection There isn't in the rest of the book either This isn't about finding yourself it is about tje joy of experiencing foreign placesIndeed there isn't even a real goodbye Mackintosh Smith seems to think that he will be back in Ibn Battutah's footsteps before long I would gladly join him And I can do so Hall of a Thousand Columns and Landfalls On the Edge of Islam with Ibn Battutah are out already

Tim Mackintosh-Smith è 7 REVIEW

Llow in the peripatetic Moroccan’s footsteps Traversing Egyptian deserts and remote islands in the Arabian Sea visiting castles in Syria and innumerable souks in medieval Islam’s great cities Mackintosh Smith sought clues to Ibn Battutah’s life and times encountering the ghost of “IB” in everything from place names in Tangier alone a hotel street airport and ferry bear IB’s name to dietary staples to an Arabic online dating service and introdu. One of my favorite books It's not for everyone but I loved Mackintosh Smith's fascinating account of his attempt to follow the travels of the 14th century Muslim traveler and explorer Ibn Battutah Battutah traveled widely in and beyond the Middle East but Mackintosh Smith a Brit living in Yemen sticks to the Arabic speaking world His knowledge of culture Arabic and the obscurities of the English language he even came up with a word his editor didn't know makes for a wonderful read

  • Paperback
  • 351
  • Travels with a Tangerine A Journey in the Footnotes of Ibn Battutah
  • Tim Mackintosh-Smith
  • English
  • 19 April 2018
  • 9780812971644

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