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On The Trail Of Genghis Kahn (2000)

by Tim Cope(Favorite Author)
4.07 of 5 Votes: 3
review 1: A first-person narrative of an epic 6000-mile three-year trek on horseback across the Steppes of Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea, the Ukraine, and Hungary. Australian Tim Cope pays tribute to the Mongol warriors and their horses who made the same journey during their conquest of Eastern Europe in the 1230s, only who traveled the same path in both directions--some 12,000 miles--in about the same amount of time. Along Tim's journey, he becomes something of a media celebrity, even as he passes through areas of unrest especially in Crimea and the Ukraine. Apparently, he is the first person since post-Soviet times to have attempted a journey of this scale, beginning around 2004. Apropos of many current events in the region, he recounts details about the forced migrations o... moref Kalymyks and Tatars who followed more-or-less the same route during Stalin's era, many of who lost their lives in the process.Tim's animals are very much part of his story--they are his companions for months at a time through unimaginably beautiful but deadly terrain. I believe he encountered a 160 degree F temperature differential between the hottest and coldest weather of his trip: -40F to 120F. His dog Tigon bravely endures the journey with him.The success of Genghis Khan's empire depended on the horse for its food, fuel, and transportation. Tim explains that unlike Western Europeans who preferred draft horses that could pull carts and wear shoes (and who thus mostly stayed on worn paths and roads), Genghis Khan's troops could literally ride up and over any mountain ranges in their path. He describes entering a remote village, imagining himself as a Mongol about to pillage it, and kill its inhabitants. He notes that, with cruel cunning, they timed the most brutal of their raids during the dead of winter, when peasant villagers were likely huddled in their hovels, drunk. In his modern journey, he attests to the drinking abilities of Steppe dwellers everywhere, who apparently learned the habit from their ancestors. Fermented and distilled mare's milk: now that's something to look for at the liquor store. Gosh, Tim also drinks a lot of vodka on his trip. And, given some of the food he eats along with it, it's probably no wonder.
review 2: Very interesting.However, i would recommend that you read this book while reading another book at the same time. Meaning, read a few chapters, then put it down for something else and then come back to it. not that it's not interesting, but, as well written as it is, it does have an almost boring "same-ness" to it. I mean, how often can you write about looking for food, water, and the various people and campsites without it getting a little tedious. That said, the author is a very good writer, it's just the subject was a little long. less
Reviews (see all)
Gripping, well researched, heartfelt, informative and well written. What more can you ask for?
Fascinating account of an extraordinary journey
Nope. Sorry. Not for me.
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