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Good Reads  Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel

The Amur River Between Russia and China

Biography / Memoir
By: Colin Thubron(Author)
304 pages
Publisher: Vintage
The Amur River
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  • The Amur River ISBN: 9781529110890 Paperback Sep 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • The Amur River ISBN: 9781784742874 Hardback Sep 2021 Out of Print #260236
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About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

A dramatic and ambitious new journey from our greatest travel writer.

The Amur River is almost unknown. Yet it is the tenth longest river in the world, rising in the Mongolian mountains and flowing through Siberia to the Pacific to form the tense, highly fortified border between Russia and China.

In his eightieth year, Colin Thubron takes a dramatic 3,000-mile-long journey from the Amur's secret source to its giant mouth. Harassed by injury and by arrest from the local police, he makes his way along both the Russian and Chinese shores on horseback, on foot, by boat and via the Trans-Siberian Railway, talking to everyone he meets. By the time he reaches the river's desolate end, where Russia's nineteenth-century imperial dream petered out, a whole, pivotal world has come alive.

The Amur River is a shining masterpiece by the acknowledged laureate of travel writing, an urgent lesson in history and the culmination of an astonishing career.

Customer Reviews


Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing, and the winner of many prizes and awards. His first writing was about the Middle East – Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled into the Soviet Union in an ancient Morris Marina, pursued by the KGB, a journey he recorded in Among the Russians. From these early experiences developed his classic travel books: Behind the Wall (winner of the Hawthornden Prize and the Thomas Cook Travel Award), The Lost Heart of Asia, In Siberia (Prix Bouvier) and Shadow of the Silk Road. His most recent book is To a Mountain in Tibet (all available in Vintage). Colin Thubron was President of the Royal Society of Literature from 2010 to 2017.

Biography / Memoir
By: Colin Thubron(Author)
304 pages
Publisher: Vintage
Media reviews

– A Financial Times, Sunday Telegraph and Spectator Book of the Year
– Winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award 2022
– As read on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week

"Thubron on top form. Richly detailed, immaculately written and full of insights and encounters that bring a complex corner of the world to life"
– Michael Palin

– Antony Beevor

"A miraculous late-style masterpiece, the equal of any of [Thubron's] earlier works, which will cement his reputation as one of our greatest prose writers in any genre [...] The Amur River is not just a literary triumph in itself, it is also a demonstration of the continued power of great travel writing"
–  William Dalrymple, Daily Telegraph

"A fascinating read packed with curiosities and incident"
The Times

"Thubron's journey makes for a gripping read [...] with fascinating political insight"
Sunday Times

"Excellent [...] Thubron's observations are perceptive and lightly delivered"
Literary Review

"[Thubron] summons both landscape and people with nuanced sensitivity [...] Here is a writer at the top of his game, one from whom those toiling on the lower slopes have much to learn"

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