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Lands of Lost Borders

A Journey on the Silk Road
Narrated by: Amy Landon
Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
4 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Summary

"Lands of Lost Borders carried me up into a state of openness and excitement I haven’t felt for years. It’s a modern classic." (Pico Iyer)

A brilliant, fierce writer makes her debut with this enthralling travelogue and memoir of her journey by bicycle along the Silk Road - an illuminating and thought-provoking fusion of The Places in Between, Lab Girl, and Wild that dares us to challenge the limits we place on ourselves and the natural world.

As a teenager, Kate Harris realized that the career she craved - to be an explorer, equal parts swashbuckler and metaphysician - had gone extinct. From what she could tell of the world from small-town Ontario, the likes of Marco Polo and Magellan had mapped the whole earth; there was nothing left to be discovered. Looking beyond this planet, she decided to become a scientist and go to Mars.

In between studying at Oxford and MIT, Harris set off by bicycle down the fabled Silk Road with her childhood friend Mel. Pedaling mile upon mile in some of the remotest places on earth, she realized that an explorer, in any day and age, is the kind of person who refuses to live between the lines. Forget charting maps, naming peaks: What she yearned for was the feeling of soaring completely out of bounds. The farther she traveled, the closer she came to a world as wild as she felt within.

Lands of Lost Borders is the chronicle of Harris’ odyssey and an exploration of the importance of breaking the boundaries we set ourselves; an examination of the stories borders tell and the restrictions they place on nature and humanity; and a meditation on the existential need to explore - the essential longing to discover what in the universe we are doing here.

Like Rebecca Solnit and Pico Iyer, Kate Harris offers a travel account at once exuberant and reflective, wry and rapturous. Lands of Lost Borders explores the nature of limits and the wildness of the self that can never fully be mapped. Weaving adventure and philosophy with the history of science and exploration, Lands of Lost Borders celebrates our connection as humans to the natural world and ultimately to each other - a belonging that transcends any fences or stories that may divide us.

©2018 Kate Harris (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shyra
  • Shyra
  • 29-08-18

narrator

i can only hear the narrator not the story - if you can understand what i mean?!.
she sounds AI, to breathy, not real. there are moments where it is relatable but overall the narrator has killed it for me.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Polly
  • Polly
  • 09-09-18

Wonderful book, narration poor

This is a wonderful book, however, the narration is difficult to listen to, mainly because the reader doesn't breath frequently enough, and the ends of long phrases are read without adequate power, leading to a change in pitch and breathy vocal quality.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sally Drake
  • 06-09-18

loved the story. not so keen on the audio

the story takes you on a magical journey through the silk road by way of a bicycle. the author's narrative is intriguing and includes wonderful insights into her own mental explorations all the while. however I found the narrator's intonations and inflections very unusual and somewhat distracting. it was difficult to finish due to this unfortunately.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • usererrr
  • 20-09-18

Narration not for driving...

Narration feels like Siri is reading a book to you. But not in a good way. Way too monotone for listening on road trips (my primary use case). Worried about pressing on for fear of sleepiness.The very very very long intro about the "Sheep Shed" and the author's childhood + narrator and I just couldn't get in farther. Oh, how I tried...title and story seem enthralling!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for ben_marko
  • ben_marko
  • 26-11-18

Good book, but...

The narrator is awful. She is so mannered in her annunciation it made it very difficult to finish it. The book itself is good, definitely a must read for travel types.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Monica
  • Monica
  • 18-11-19

Engaging Story

I was hesitant to purchase this audiobook after reading the reviews of the narrator, and although she was not the best, she was tolerable and did not distract from the story. I found the story, including the backstory of the author leading up to the journey along the Silk Road, extremely engaging. Her take on exploration and boarders were particularly interesting and overall the book is definitely worth listening to.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-19

Horrible narration

Well written and engaging book, but the narration is terrible. The narrator can’t finish a sentence without some strange enunciation. Her voices for characters are also terrible, my favorite was the German guy who she gave a harsh Russian accent. I managed to get through it but really wish I would have just bought the book

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amoryn Smith
  • Amoryn Smith
  • 18-10-19

Beautiful Story!

Keep listening. The narration grows on you & the story is too beautiful to miss. <3

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Coffee Fan
  • 10-09-19

Sounds like SIRI is reading to me

The story is compelling, and I really want to listen to it. However, the reading sounds like it is done by a computer and I really can't listen to it -- I've tried. It seems like the publisher used a machine reader and tried to pass it off as a human. The result sounds like SIRI's and Google GPS's daughter is reading to you -- for a long time. For that, customers can have Alexa read a Kindle book. It's unfortunate that the publisher is charging listeners the same price as a human-read book for such a product.

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Profile Image for Annemarie Ketola
  • Annemarie Ketola
  • 06-09-19

Unique travel tale made boring by reader

I found out about this book from a travel podcast where the author herself was interviewed and immediately downloaded it.
The story is really unique and different from other typical travelogues because the author parallels it with her goals of space travel and Mars exportation expeditions.

Unfortunately the story is at times hard to listen to because the person reading it is the same person who is also hired to make train and elevator announcements. I kept thinking the next thing out of the readers’s mouth would be about what floor I’m on or “minding the gap”. It was painful. It’s also such a fake, over produced sounding way of speaking. This story was so honest, to have someone “doing a voice” instead of a real sounding person was really a disservice and made the book feel inauthentic at times.

I wish the author herself had taken the time to read her own book. She sounded great on the podcast.