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Glory in a Camel's Eye: Trekking Through the Moroccan Sahara

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  83 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Hailed by Bill Bryson and the New York Times Book Review as an emerging master of travel writing, Tayler penetrates one of the most forbidding regions on Earth. Journeying along routes little altered since the Middle Ages, he uses his linguistic and observational gifts to illuminate a venerable, enigmatic culture of nomads and mystics.
Though no stranger to privation (havi
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published June 2nd 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published 2003)
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Max Carmichael
Mar 01, 2014 Max Carmichael rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As a travel writer, the neo-Victorian Tayler shares in the new fad of young professionals: "experience" as a consumer commodity. Alienated from the traditions of his own society, he attempts to buy a traditional experience from members of an exotic society colonized and degraded by the very Anglo-European imperial culture that constitutes his own ironic inheritance.

Unfortunately, his inspiration is the romantic adventurer Wilfred Thesiger rather than the more domestically-minded Freya Stark. Clu
Rogue Reader
Jun 08, 2015 Rogue Reader rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-africa
The best read yet on the harsh realities and romantic illusions of the deserts and their peoples, a trek by foot and camel from Mhamid, southeast of Marrakesh and at the head of the Draa to Tan Tan on the west coast of Morocco, the Atlantic. Fairly current too, years of drought have destroyed much of the nomadic desert tribes and true believers hector without ceasing. Tayler's command of Arabic, his observant nature and background knowledge bring wealth in his words, and glory in a camel's eye.
Oct 06, 2010 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a few books by this author now, and look forward to more. This is another in the series of trips to places that no one ever goes but Jeffrey Tayler - and I for one am glad he does and writes so well about it.

This time it is a trip down the Draa Valley in Morocco with two guides, three camels, and an observant eye for details, which he shares with the reader as the journey progresses. Some hardships are obvious and somewhat expected - cantankerous camels, the desert itself, sparse su
Tony Robledo
Feb 18, 2016 Tony Robledo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Travel and learn about a disappearing people, learn about history and local costumes with the vivid descriptions of the author and unintended humorous situations that occur when you travel on a dessert accompanied by two camels and two guides for over a month. I love Jeffrey Tayler's books.
What is it with men who decide they want to do something epic and dangerous, then write a book to complain about it? The author complains about his companions "traditional" habits: talking about God/Islam, washing with sand/water (not soap), and then he complains because they're too western: watch too much TV, live in concrete houses (not tents). Sorry, but your noble savage doesn't exist - just because you read Thesiger's book about Arabia doesn't entitle you to find the perfect, unspoiled nati ...more
Oct 05, 2009 Teo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
From Sahara to the Sea by foot, camel and whatever comes your way. It's a totally great concept and theoretically a great story and if the author wasn't such a snarky jerk about most of the people and places he encounters it would be even better. Dude - if you don't actually like it there, don't go. One of the common and fundamental problems with travel literature, rivaled only by its inverse - the complete and total awe and reverence of all things foreign, regardless of whether the things deser ...more
Probably Jeffrey Tayler doesn't come up with the silly titles for his books that emphasize the danger in his travel escapades. This is the second of his travel books that I have read and he does seem to like what might otherwise be considered ill-advised trips - but he survives to write (and publish) about it.

Tayler speaks Arabic (and Russian) and his descriptions of his interactions with his Arab guides are the most interesting aspect of this book. It took my about fifty pages to get into this
Jody Grant
A very good travel memoir--a genre I usually like the idea of more than the execution of. Because as much as I enjoy stories from actual live, I get frustrated when I feel robbed of story or craft.
While sometimes I was annoyed by this narrator, I enjoyed his honesty and that he didn't hide or color his biases. It made his insights and his joys all the richer.
This part of the world is especially intriguing and foreign to me. I enjoyed the isolation of his quest as well as the frequent social in
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
May 21, 2015 Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Tayler along with two guides takes off across the Sahara Desert. I can add this trip to the list of trips I will never take. Worst of all was the picture Tayler gives of his stop in the home of a Muslim saint; flies covering the food…children with snotty noses…the smell of animal dung coming from the room next door…green meat…men picking their noses while they ate…the intense desert heat….In every village Tayler stopped, locals told him he was the first tourist they’d met. Mmmm…big surprise.
Sep 10, 2008 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel-lit
Excellent story of traveling through Morocco's Draa Valley by mule and camel that provides thoughtful insight into the various ethnic groups in Morocco, desertification, and the Moroccan-Islamic culture. Highly recommend for anyone traveling to Morocco.
Sphinx Feathers
Oct 10, 2014 Sphinx Feathers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel
Well-described, interesting and informative. You can close your eyes and see yourself in the desert. His emotions are well-done and well-written. You can easily put yourself in his shoes and everything he goes through.
Jenny Gendel
Nov 28, 2011 Jenny Gendel rated it it was amazing
Fun Read, perfect for being sick, or being sick of the cold. Excellent descriptions, and happy to have traveled vicarioulsy with him. I'll be looking for some of his other books in the future.
Mar 13, 2009 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arduous trek through the Moroccan desert. Provides an interesting meditataion on how the global economy has degraded the integrity of even isolated people.
Diane Robinson
Aug 30, 2010 Diane Robinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a wonderful adventure (if you weren't actually there!).
Some passages were uncomfortable to read, but all in all very interesting and enlightening
Nov 20, 2010 Marsha marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfiled
Carol Duke. Morrocco. Another abt. congo "Facing the Congo" Sahel "Angry Wind" Siberia "River of no Reprieve" --
Bonnie Jeanne
Glory in a Camel's Eye: A Perilous Trek Through the Greatest African Desert by Jeffrey Tayler (2005)
Apr 02, 2008 Ida rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting book about Morocco and that part of the African desert.
Feb 20, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Where the @&$#% is the map?? ...more
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Jeffrey Tayler is a U.S.-born author and journalist. He is the Russia correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a contributor to several other magazines as well as to NPR's All Things Considered. He has written several non-fiction books about different regions of the world which include Facing the Congo, Siberian Dawn, Glory in a Camel's Eye, and Angry Wind, the latter being a portrait of a journ ...more
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