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The Slow Road to Tehran: A Revelatory Bike Ride Through Europe and the Middle East

Rebecca Lowe's The Slow Road to Tehran is not your usual travelogue and her engaging writing will leave you with a better understanding of the challenges in the Middle East. Lowe also confirms what we all know: travelling by bike allows you to get closer to a country and its people, and then she puts her skill as a writer to good use as she draws us into her adventure.

Lowe's work as a journalist led to her cycling to Tripoli to help better understand the area that she was reporting on. This interesting perspective is no better put than by Lowe herself who says that travelling by bike was a great way to 'peel back the layers of artifice and prejudice to unearth the human stories underneath'.

One of the main appeals of the book is that it's unlike many others out there, it's not your typical travelogue but neither does it rely on slapstick comedy or contrived jeopardy. The fact that she uses a bike, although impossible without it, is not the most important part of the book and in many ways this is refreshing.

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Despite the educational angle, and the book cramming in a lot of information, Lowe does a good job of conveying it in an engaging manner with the focus on an area of the world that is frequently misrepresented. The numerous explanatory footnotes and an extensive bibliography reassure you that Lowe has done some serious research and the book is likely to not only extend your knowledge of the Middle East but is also thought evoking.