Ghost Train To The Eastern Star

Stuart Milligan reads from Paul Theroux's account of a journey in which he retraces his own steps and follows in the tracks of his classic 1973 travel book The Great Railway Bazaar.

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012008090120100426 (BBC7)
20120206 (BBC7)
20130304 (BBC7)

Paul sets out from a rain-soaked London by Eurostar on his journey from Europe to East Asia.

He stops in Istanbul, a city of extraordinary mosques and churches, but also with a seedier side.

From Turkey, he travels on to the Georgian border.

Paul Theroux retraces his 1973 journey from 'The Great Railway Bazaar', starting with London to Georgia.

Stuart Milligan reads.

Paul Theroux retraces his journey from London to Georgia.

Read by Stuart Milligan.

Paul Theroux retraces his 1973 journey from 'The Great Railway Bazaar', starting with London to Georgia. Stuart Milligan reads.

Paul Theroux retraces his journey from London to Georgia. Read by Stuart Milligan.

022008090220100427 (BBC7)
20120207 (BBC7)
20130305 (BBC7)

From Georgia, Paul boards a train bound for Azerbaijan and alights in boomtown Baku, just in time for a national holiday to celebrate the first day of spring.

Moving on to Turkmenistan, he witnesses at first hand the legacy of Saparmyrat Niyasov's repressive and eccentric dictatorship.

In Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, Paul Theroux encounters an oil boom and 'evil eye deflectors'.

Read by Stuart Milligan.

In Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, Theroux encounters an oil boom and 'evil eye deflectors'.

In Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, Paul Theroux encounters an oil boom and 'evil eye deflectors'. Read by Stuart Milligan.

032008090320100428 (BBC7)
20120208 (BBC7)
20130306 (BBC7)

Paul travels from Amritsar in northern India to idyllic Sri Lanka, a land still recovering from the catastrophic 2004 tsunami.

Paul Theroux retraces his route in 'The Great Railway Bazaar' - from northern India to Sri Lanka.

Read by Stuart Milligan.

Paul Theroux retraces his route from northern India to Sri Lanka.

Paul Theroux retraces his route in 'The Great Railway Bazaar' - from northern India to Sri Lanka. Read by Stuart Milligan.

Paul Theroux retraces his route from northern India to Sri Lanka. Read by Stuart Milligan.

The author continues to retrace his route from The Great Railway Bazaar, through India to Sri Lanka. Read by Stuart Milligan.

042008090420100429 (BBC7)
20120209 (BBC7)
20130307 (BBC7)

Paul reacquaints himself with a much-changed Burma and its crumbling cities.

His initial reaction to the sad and skeletal city that used to be Rangoon is disbelief.

But his time in Burma is not entirely gloomy, and his spirits are lifted by an unexpected encounter with his past.

Paul Theroux retraces his route in 'The Great Railway Bazaar' - Burma and its crumbling cities.

Read by Stuart Milligan.

Paul Theroux on Burma and its crumbling cities.

Paul Theroux retraces his route in 'The Great Railway Bazaar' - Burma and its crumbling cities. Read by Stuart Milligan.

Paul Theroux on Burma and its crumbling cities. Read by Stuart Milligan.

The author retraces his route from The Great Railway Bazaar, through Burma and its crumbling cities. Read by Stuart Milligan.

05 LAST2008090520100430 (BBC7)
20120210 (BBC7)
20130308 (BBC7)

5/5.

Paul sets out from Vladivostock on the Trans-Siberian railway.

He alights from the train in Perm, a Siberian city with a recent history of rocket manufacture, slave labour and arbitrary incarceration.

Paul explores the grim legacy of Perm 36, one of the most notorious Gulag camps.

Paul Theroux retraces his route in 'The Great Railway Bazaar' via Vladivostok and Perm.

Read by Stuart Milligan.

Paul Theroux retraces his route in 'The Great Railway Bazaar' via Vladivostok and Perm. Read by Stuart Milligan.

The author concludes the retracing of his route from The Great Railway Bazaar, via Vladivostok and Perm. Read by Stuart Milligan.