Adventures in unexpected places

'Extremes Along the Silk Road' by Nick Middleton is his personal account of expeditions to extreme destinations
Adventures in unexpected places
Adventures in unexpected places

Extremes along the Silk Road (John Murray Rs 435), written by an unsettlingly active Oxford don, Nick Middleton, is about adventures taken place in some of the remotest places of the planet&mdashamong sand dunes taller than the Eiffel Tower, atop hot rocks in the Gobi desert, with a mask over his face in a remote anthrax-polluted site in the Aral Sea. It&rsquos all in the name of Geography, it&rsquos because such expeditions reveal &ldquothe raw material of nature and the relationships people have developed with the physical world&rdquo.

Middleton is an earnest character, despite his appetite for danger, and obvious relish in pushing himself. There is a pleasantly geeky aspect to this book, as he repeatedly traipses off to another extreme destination. It&rsquos a fairly engaging account of dramatic &ldquooff piste&rdquo adventures, though you can&rsquot help having the suspicion that all of this would be better off on television.

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