• Lands of Lost Borders

  • A Journey on the Silk Road
  • By: Kate Harris
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 10 hrs and 59 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (154 ratings)

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Lands of Lost Borders  By  cover art

Lands of Lost Borders

By: Kate Harris
Narrated by: Amy Landon
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Publisher's 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

What listeners say about Lands of Lost Borders

Average customer ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

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.

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12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

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!!

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

robot

narrator sounds like a robot. Its to the point where I'm thinking about the voice more than the story.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Fascinating story, brutal reading

The story was intriguing enough to keep me listening but it was a real struggle with the reading. Had to speed up to 1.2x to make it tolerable

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Phenomenal book. Difficult narration.

Phenomenal book. I struggle to review this because I find the voice and articulation of the narrator to be incredibly distracting. I attempted to get beyond the distration by listening to the book on dubbing speed....this helped enough to listen to it but it was still difficult. Sadly the narration takes away from enjoyment of the book. I highly recommend that anyone reading this to purchase the physical book and read it yourself. The book is very well written!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Will recommend to all my friends who live and perpetually long for exploration

A book that I relate to with my body, soul, and the mind. It simultaneously makes me want study harder and quit grad school and throw myself full time into the physical act of exploration.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Hmmm

I struggled finishing this book. For some reason, I was never able to connect with the characters or what must’ve been one heck of an exploration.

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