When Jamie Maslin decides to backpack the entire length of the Silk Road, he doesn t plan, he just does. So when he gets unexpectedly stranded in Iran, a country he s only read about in newspapers, he has to make the best of it, secretly wondering whether he ll live to tell the tale. In this unique memoir Booklist calls intrepid, observant, funny, and charming, Maslin explores Tabriz, Tehran, Esfahn, and the ancient city of Persepolis; visits museums, bazaars, and nightclubs; eats well and drinks loads of tea, and, on one wild night, 96-proof ethanol (the possession of alcohol is punishable by hand-amputation). Maslin marvels at the subversive, contradictory world of Iranian subculture, where he is embraced by locals who are more than happy to show him the true Iran as they live it where unmarried men and women mingle in Western clothes at secret parties, where alcohol is readily available on the black market, where Christian churches are national heritage sites, and where he discovers the real meaning of friendship, nationality, and hospitality. This is the astonishing account of one Westerner s life-altering rambles across Iran that will rid you of any preconceived notions about this infamous land.