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Conquering the Desert of Death: Across the Taklamakan

Conquering the Desert of Death: Across the Taklamakan
Charles Blackmore

  • Paperback | In Stock | £11.99

  • Paperback | In Stock | $18.00

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The ferocious Taklamakan desert, the harshest on earth, is known by the Chinese as the 'desert of death' or the 'place of no return' - you go in but you don't come out. It sustains no life and has taken the lives of many of those who have ventured in. Its unknown depths are said to be haunted by demons and spirits and legend has it that ancient cities filled with treasure lie lost and buried beneath its dunes. The only certainty is that no human being in history had ever crossed it from end to end. But, after five years of planning, Charles Blackmore together with a team of British, Chinese and Uyghurs and a caravan of thirty camels, set out to accomplish the seemingly impossible: they would cross the Taklamakan, west to east, directly through its unmapped, untrodden centre. "Conquering the Desert of Death" is at once a deeply personal journey and the story of an adventure that will go down in history as one of the great achievements of exploration.

Author Info

Charles Blackmore is a noted author and explorer whose expeditions have included a 500-mile march retracing the British Army's 1808 retreat to Corunna in Spain and 700 miles by camel retracing T.E. Lawrence's journeys in the Middle East. He also spent 14 years in the British army serving in the Far East, Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus and Canada before leaving in 1993. He is the author of In the Footsteps of Lawrence of Arabia.


"No other traveller in history has ever before attempted this awesome feat, which can be compared to the first ascent of Everest, or rowing single-handed across the Atlantic." Peter Hopkirk'

Blackmore's great adventure consisted of leading an Anglo-Chinese expedition across one of the last unexplored places on earth. A brilliant book.' Angela Lambert, Independent'

This is the best book I have read for a considerable time.' Traveller'

Exhilarating and inspiring. The fascination is in the psychological rather than the physical journey.' The Tablet'

Blackmore is at times wonderfully understated about the physical challenges. His gritty tale shows that there is still much to be learnt about oneself and the world by doing things the hard way.' Sunday Times'

An exceptionally readable account of a formidable achievement. Throughout the book the humour and goodwill, that no doubt kept the team together and made the expedition such a success, is evident.' RGS
The Geographical Journal'

The story of extraordinary will, endurance and courage
and also of a man possessed by an undefinable restlessness.' The Review'

The Taklamakan is every bit as devilish as Blackmore records.' Far Eastern Economic Review'

Writing with a refreshing lack of cynicism, Blackmore gives a vivid, no-nonsense, engaging account of the arduous two-month journey.' Library Journal'

Fiercely honest. The point of reading this book is being afforded the chance of discovering through Blackmore's deeply sensitive eyes a world far removed from the "reality" you or I would know. The book is a celebration of human achievement.' Dawn, Pakistan

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781845115821
Publication Date: 30 Jan 2008
Number of Pages: 288
Height: 198
Width: 126
Illustrations: 8pp colour plate section and 8pp b&w plate section

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