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The Collector of Worlds (2006)

by Ilija Trojanow

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6013035,812 (3.57)16
A colourful swashbuckling story based on the life of Sir Richard Burton, the flamboyant explorer of the nineteenth century.

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» See also 16 mentions

English (23)  Dutch (3)  German (3)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (31)
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
Reading this book was hard work. Firstly the German writing style is difficult. Secondly there was no drama.
The story gave only a ghostly sketch of Sir Richard Burton, who somehow did not come to life.
No doubt that the man was a fascinating character, a linguist and a traveller who was the first westerner to go on pilgrimage to Mecca. A man who translated the Kamasutra and spoke so many languages, and lived so many different lives.
The book only gives glimpses of his personality through the re-telling of his travels from three different viewpoints: The narrator of the first part is Burton's servant in India, the second part is narrated by officials in the Ottoman empire investigating his trip to the Islamic holy cities and the third part is narrated by the African guide who accompanied Burton and Speke on their trip in East Africa to find the source of the Nile.
The effect of this narration is to give the central character a back-seat, so we only get to see him through the eyes of others. This worked partially well in the first part where the servant was reasonably close to Burton, but in the two other parts it gave only a distant picture of the man and his adventure. The descriptions are long and there are pages upon pages of non-events. The book raised more questions about Richard Burton than it answered and I think I will have to meet him again in another biography. ( )
  moukayedr | Sep 5, 2021 |
Ein spannender Roman über den englischen Abenteurer Richard Burton (1821-1890). Anstatt in den Kolonien die englischen Lebensgewohnheiten fortzuführen, lernt er wie besessen die Sprachen des Landes, vertieft sich in fremde Religionen und reist zum Schrecken der Behörden anonym in den Kolonien herum. Trojanows farbiger Abenteuerroman über diesen Exzentriker zeigt, warum der Westen bis heute nichts von den Geheimnissen der anderen Welt begriffen hat.
  Fredo68 | May 14, 2020 |
This novel is based on the life of Sir Richard Burton, the famous explorer whose translation of the 'Arabian Nights' scandalized Victorian society. Troyanov imagines Burton through the eyes of an Indian servant, an Ottoman governor, and a former slave who acted as Burton's guide.
  gerrit-anne | Oct 11, 2018 |
This book with 3 parts started colorful and amazing. I was spellbound. The second part was a very different style but the language kept me going. However, part 3 lost me. The story was going nowhere. ( )
  kakadoo202 | Feb 28, 2016 |
The fact that it took me so terribly long to read this book should speak for itself I guess.
It was not a bad book, it was even interesting at times. It was just difficult for me to keep track of the lines: who said what, where are we now, where is the main character going (HELP who IS the main character now was more than once the question...).
The subject: a fictive / realistic story about the life and adventures of Richard Burton is good enough. I liked the passages about him, what he was doing, thinking, where he was traveling.
I just got very confused by the different story tellers, that all talked about Burton too.
I probably should read it again to give the book a second chance. Just not now :) ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
"Troyanov succeeds at a different level, recreating that hunger for knowledge, hardship and space that was Burton’s distinctive cast of mind, depicting a man at once hard to like and impossible not to admire."
"Now Iliya Troyanov has given us the full fictional version in The Collector of Worlds, a long but consistently satisfying essay in biographical fiction, which is rapidly coming to seem a new genre."
added by bookfitz | editThe Guardian, Giles Foden (Jun 28, 2008)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ilija Trojanowprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arnold, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Álvarez Grifoll, LidiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blanco, Lisa PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Estelrich i Arce, Maria del PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Falvay DóraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gandini, UmbertoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobson, WillTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muayyad’pur, MaryamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rijnaarts, JoséTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tellaroli, SergioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tomanová, RenátaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Venard, DominiqueTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Do what thy manhood bids thee to,
From none but self expect applause:
He noblest lives and noblest dies
Who makes and keeps his self-made laws.

     - Richard Francis Burton, Kasidah VIII, 9
For Nuruddin & Ranjit,
who truly cared
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He died early in the morning before you could tell a black thread from a white.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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A colourful swashbuckling story based on the life of Sir Richard Burton, the flamboyant explorer of the nineteenth century.

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