The Road to Samarcand, Paperback
1 out of 5 (1 rating)


A classic Patrick O'Brian novel, back in print after many years.

When Derrick's missionary parents are tragically murdered he is entrusted to his gruff uncle Sullivan, Captain of The Wanderer.

After surviving a killer typhoon on the South China Sea, and accompanied by their eccentric elderly cousin, they set off across land to discover the treasures of Central Asia.

Derrick befriends a fierce Mongol warrior and must help him battle a ruthless Chinese warlord.

Given a gift of priceless jade, the group is pursued into the inhospitable mountains of Tibet where they are caught between fierce mountain monks and a terrifying unnamed creature that stalks them through the snow.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 208 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Thriller / suspense
  • ISBN: 9780007262779



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The Road to Samarcand - Patrick O'Brian *Have only read one O’Brian novel before, [Master and Commander]. Fairly enjoyed that so starting reading the road to Samarcand after seeing it on sale in a bookshop.I have to be honest and say that I could not finish the book, it was awful. Usually no matter how bad a book is I struggle through to the end, but after 5 nights and only 69 pages I eventually put it to one side.The story is so full of annoying characters that I just couldn’t go on any longer. There is a scholarly absentminded professor, a hired help who says the work Ay every few words and Chinese cook who has a broad knowledge of the English language. He is the worst, with every sentence he speaks in a disjointed mixture of forced grammar.I hated it…. Can’t say more than that. Think this will be my last book by the author.As far as I could tell, the plot is set in around 1950’s china (although you wouldn’t think it with all the horseback fighting etc). Derrick visits his elderly cousin who is a professor of archaeology via his uncles sailing ship. The Chinese cook makes many references to ‘learned scholar’. They go to look at some remains of a building against the advice of locals etc, and get kidnapped…. Then I threw it away.