Book Review- Timbuctoo

Saturday, 2 February 2013
Title: Timbuctoo
Author: Tahir Shah
Published: July 5th 2012
Publisher: Secretum Mundi
Pages: 544
Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 5/5

For centuries, the greatest explorers of their age were dispatched from the power-houses of Europe London, Paris and Berlin on a quest unlike any other: To be the first white Christian to visit, and then to sack, the fabled metropolis of Timbuctoo.Most of them never returned alive.At the height of the Timbuctoo mania, two hundred years ago, it was widely believed that the elusive Saharan city was fashioned in entirety from the purest gold everything from the buildings to the cobble-stones, from the buckets to the bedsteads was said to be made from it.One winter night in 1815, a young illiterate American seaman named Robert Adams was discovered half-naked and starving on the snow-bound streets of London. His skin seared from years in the African desert, he claimed to have been a guest of the King of Timbuctoo.Thought of an American claiming anything let alone the greatest prize in exploration was abhorrent in the extreme. Closing ranks against their unwelcome American guest, the British Establishment lampooned his tale, and began a campaign of discrediting him, one that continues even today.An astonishing tale based on true-life endurance, Tahir Shah's epic novel Timbuctoo brilliantly recreates the obsessions of the time, as a backdrop for one of the greatest love stories ever told. -Goodreads
I won a signed copy of this novel in a Goodread's giveaway.
I really liked this novel, hence the reason I gave it 5 stars. I loved the historical setting of this novel, I thought the author's accuracy to the setting was great, giving the reader a sense of exactly how it was, and allowing us to imagine it in depth.
The novel is separated into lots of small chapters, making a very large novel a lot more manageable, with each chapter being about a different character. This also added a bit of tension to the novel as you were made to wait to continue a certain characters story.
The plot of the story was very fast paced for such a long novel, meaning it didn't seem that long at all. The plot had lots of twists and turns that I didn't see coming, they were very unexpected, and kept me captivated until the very end. This novel was a real page turner for me, I just couldn't put it down.
I also liked the diverse and large number of characters included in this novel. Normally a large cast of characters can be difficult to keep track of, but the author described each character so well that I had no problem distinguishing who the characters were. I liked how all the characters link, and all loose ends are tied up by the end of the novel, giving it a nice sense of closure.
Overall I thought this was a really great novel, even if it was so heavy I could hardly lift it! I would recommend this novel to fans of historical fiction, as the historical aspect of this book is excellent.


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