East to West, Indirectly, Along A Turkish River

Book - 2012 | 1st U.S. ed.
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The Meander is a river so famously winding that its name has long since come to signify digression, an approach author Jeremy Seal makes the most of while traveling the length of the river alone by canoe. A natural storyteller, Seal takes readers from the Meander's source in the uplands of central Turkey to its mouth on the Aegean Sea, with as many historical, cultural, and personal asides as there are bends in the river.

In a rapidly industrializing Turkey, the river itself has been largely forgotten, but the Meander was the original conduit by which the cultures of Europe and Asia first met, then clashed. The city at the river's mouth, Miletus, was home to the earliest Western philosophers, while the one at its source, Dinar, commanded the mountain pass that carried the earliest roads east. All manner of legendary adventurers, soldiers, and visionaries passed through: the Persian king Xerxes, Alexander the Great, Saint Paul, and Crusader kings, to name just a few.

In the course of his travels, Seal meets any number of people eager to share stories with a stranger. This rich mix creates a portrait of extraordinary insight and sweep at a time when Turkey is busy rediscovering her historic significance. An enchanting blend of past and present, at once epic and intimate, Meander is an atmospheric, incident-rich, and free-flowing portrayal of the essential meeting point between East and West.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2012.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781596916524
Branch Call Number: 914.961 SEAL
Characteristics: 401 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm.


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martins_mom Dec 13, 2014

An unusual and well-written
travelogue writen by a Turkish-speaking Englishman who decided to trace the Meander River from south central Turkey to the Aegean. A great deal of historical detail is richly woven into his day-by-day experiences.

Sep 06, 2014

I had to read 70 pages before he started his journey.
He goes back & forth between the historical & the present.
The accounts of past civil wars are horribly graphic.
I enjoyed reading the references to Christianity.

Aug 12, 2012

Superb blend of history and contemporary travel


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