The Danube A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest Nick Thorpe

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
18 Oct 2013
ISBN:
9780300181654
Dimensions:
336 pages: 241 x 161 x 33mm
Illustrations:
24 black-&-white illustrations

The magnificent Danube both cuts across and connects central Europe, flowing through and alongside ten countries: Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. Travelling its full length from east to west, against the river's flow, Nick Thorpe embarks on an inspiring year-long journey that leads to a new perspective on Europe today. Thorpe's account is personal, conversational, funny, immediate and uniquely observant - everything a reader expects in the best travel writing. Immersing himself in the Danube's waters during daily morning swims, Thorpe likewise becomes immersed in the histories of the lands linked by the river. He observes the river's ecological conditions, some discouraging and others hopeful, and encounters archaeological remains that whisper of human communities sustained by the river over eight millennia. Most fascinating of all are the ordinary and extraordinary people along the way - the ferrymen and fishermen, workers in the fields, shopkeepers, beekeepers, waitresses, smugglers and border policemen, legal and illegal immigrants, and many more. For readers who anticipate their own journeys on the Danube, as well as those who only dream of seeing the great river, this book will be a unique and treasured guide.

Nick Thorpe is East and Central European Correspondent for the BBC, a journalist and filmmaker. He has lived and worked in Budapest, Hungary, for over a quarter of a century.

“A review can’t encompass the majestic canvas of Thorpe’s book. Wise, thoughtful, unprejudiced and consistently absorbing, it is also beautifully written.”—Miranda Seymour, Literary Review

“In this leisurely amalgam of travelogue and history, Nick Thorpe . . . has done the Danube and its ancient people proud.”—Ian Thomson, Sunday Telegraph

“Thorpe is a keen conversationalist who lets the multiple voices of riparian communities emerge on their own. The writing is graceful and the descriptions of landscape and, especially, birds are at times magnificent.”—Charles King, Times Literary Supplement