Erica's Reviews > Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia

Chasing the Sea by Tom Bissell
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's review
Jul 13, 08

Read in July, 2008

The "Stans" were nothing but a blank space on my mind map of the world before reading this book. Bissell infuses warm and witty, honest travel experiences with stories of the brutal forces that have torn through Uzbekistan over the centuries, the most recent being the cotton industry that continues to destroy the Aral Sea and the people who used to live by its fishing industry. I couldn't help feeling at the end that the Aral Sea, the salty former seabed of which Bissell describes as appearing "microwaved", might be a canary in the mine for poor ole mother earth in general. Great info on the aftermath of USSR collapse, too. And funny.
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