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4 thoughts on “Road to Khartoum

  1. Raegan Butcher Raegan Butcher says:

    Charles George Gordon is a hero of mine because he was so damned eccentric He was a religious fanatic not usually a type I find endearing who could hardly be bothered to eat or sleep He most likely died a virgin and was probably an incredibly repressed homosexual which might explain why he had a death wish the size of Jupiter A fascinating man This is the story of his most interesting life from birth in gray old England thru the War in the Crimea the Taiping rebellion in China his explorations of the Sudan and his eventual death in Khartoum Excellent reading

  2. Juniper Shore Juniper Shore says:

    I picked up this biography after watching Khartoum which is an entertaining if highly improbable movie On the whole the film is better than the bookCharles Gordon is a fascinating character because he contained so many contradictions His whole life seems to have been spent in search of something that he himself could never define He never settled on a belief system place of residence single occupation or even personality He can represent anything to anybody depending on which parts of his life you chooseTrench focuses mainly on the administrative details of Gordon's service in the Sudan which is probably a natural choice for an author who served as a British Commissioner in Kenya This is a pity because the most exciting parts of the book are the scenes in China when Gordon had scope to demonstrate his skills on the battlefield Gordon's time in Africa was frustrating repetitive and largely ineffectual so it doesn't make for interesting reading In general the author praises Gordon's efforts but criticizes his results which feels a bit like sniping between rival government bureaucrats In the end we come away with a fairly detailed picture of what Gordon did but not who he was and it's the latter mystery that has captivated so many other writersThere are two maps one of China one of the Sudan but you will need detail to follow what's really going on A biographical list of all the major figures in the book would also help since it's easy to lose track of all the people Gordon came in contact withOn a side note the book itself is interesting as a historical artifact It was published in 1978 and Trench speaks highly of how well governed and prosperous the independent Sudan became after a rocky start This is hard to understand given the nonstop chaos and civil war in the country during the 1970s but perhaps it was a prayer for the future than a reflection on the pastThree stars for a book which would be useful as a reference than as entertainment

  3. Bill V Bill V says:

    I didn't find this book to be particularly good The narrative was uninteresting and a bit confusing for just about the entire length up until the time Gordon returns to Khartoum and meets his destinyI didn't like how the narrative weaves his eccentricities with his sexuality religious beliefs and his military record The book could have done a better job providing basic information such as dates There are several abbreviations for terms used throughout the book but the terms themselves aren't always defined There are a few passages which are written in French with no ready translationThe uality of the writing is solid once Gordon returned to Khartoum and the maps are useful but on balance the book is mediocre The impression regarding Gordon of whom I previously knew very little I'm left with is that he was a flawed leader who despite uite a few notable ualities was ill suited for the command he was given

  4. Kevin Kevin says:

    This book takes you on a journey of the life of General Charles Gordon from the Crimea to Taiping where he picked up the sobriuet Chinese Gordon back home to England to the Nile River and Sudan Gordon was a uniue individual so uniue that he defies any solid definition he was both distant and engaging thoughtful and rash a man of complete contradiction except when he wasn't Sent to stop the slave trade he basically succeeded only in changing it's route from the Nile to the desert His final mission takes up approximately 40% of the book and is a great story in it's own I found it a touch difficult to follow some of the specifics because of my complete lack of knowledge about Sudan and the the players in the unfolding drama Trench did a great job of describing as far as possible the complexities of Gordon's character and attempting to separate myth from legend A good read for anyone interested in learning about Colonial Africa

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Road to Khartoum [PDF / Epub] ★ Road to Khartoum Author Charles Chenevix Trench – In this splendidly researched portrait of a maverick turned flawless legend Charles Chenevix Trench vividly explores the undeniable hold Gordon exercised over others who were willing to endure appalli In this splendidly researched portrait of a maverick turned flawless legend Charles Chenevix Trench vividly explores the undeniable hold Gordon exercised over others who were willing to endure appalling hardships just to follow him to China Palestine.