The Road to Oxiana (unabridged)

Audio Sample

Robert Byron

The Road to Oxiana

Read by Barnaby Edwards


In 1933, Robert Byron set off from Venice with his friend Christopher Sykes to explore the architecture of the Middle East. Their long and arduous journey took them from Cyprus and Jerusalem to Syria, Iraq, Persia and Afghanistan, and finally Oxiana, a tiny country around the river Oxus, the Greek name for the river Amu Darya, which snakes down from Russia into Afghanistan. They travel by any means necessary (truck, camel, horses and foot), and encounter several setbacks, but their risks are rewarded as they encounter some of the greatest examples of Eastern art and architecture, many of which have now vanished forever. Funny and erudite, The Road to Oxiana’s combination of exquisite lyricism, detail and humour gave birth to a new kind of travel literature, serving as inspiration for later writers such as Bruce Chatwin, Peter Matthiesson and Jan Morris.

Audiofile – Earphones Award
  • Running Time: 11 h 47 m

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    Digital ISBN:978-1-78198-241-9
    Cat. no.:NA0359
    Download size:270 MB
    Produced by:Red Apple Creative
    Edited by:Red Apple Creative
    Text:© 1937 Robert Byron
    Released:May 2019
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Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

British narrator Barnaby Edwards captures pioneering travel writer Robert Byron’s historical commentary, humour, and bon vivant sensibility while crossing the Middle East to explore the farthest reaches of Persia and Afghanistan in 1933–1934. With the ability to evoke entire centuries and architectural styles in a single sentence, Byron is considered one of the masters of the travelogue genre. Edwards is at his best as he delivers Byron’s hilarious word-for-word conversations with local warlords, stuffy diplomats, and chatty Americans while he pushes through extreme heat, floods, and snow on foot and by horse and motorcar to visit such exotic sounding sites as the Mosque of Sheikh Lutfullah, Persepolis, and the crossroads village of Ghazni. Perfect listening for the armchair traveler in all of us.

D.M.H., AudioFile

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