Even though I am a slow reader, I still read as many books as I can. The fact that the many books that I read is less actually than half the total number of books I buy, is a different matter altogether. Anyway, talking about this book, On The Trail of Genghis Khan, I happened to buy this at random. I usually keep browsing through online stores for books, specially on travel and if a book interests me, I do some basic research (read Googling) before deciding on whether to buy it or move ahead. In case of this book however, not much research was needed. A guy riding a horse for ten thousand kilometres through Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Russia. What more did I need.
These are some of the countries which had always made me curious in a strange way. The wilderness, the vastness, the snow, the steppes and of-course, Genghis Khan. With all this packed in a single book, I did not need any more reasons to order it right-away.
Talking about the book
Let me say it at the beginning itself. This is by far the best book I have read till date. Period. I love and deeply enjoy reading verbose and descriptive travel tales and this book is just that. Not to forget the engrossing writing of Tim Cope.
The book details the roughly 10000 kilometer long journey on which Tim embarks upon, to re-trace the footsteps or rather hoof-steps (if that’s actually a word) of the Mongols who conquered their way from the east to west, creating the largest land empire in the history of mankind. Starting all the way from Mongolia to the banks of the river Danube in Hungary, Tim along-with his horses and dog Tigon literally takes you along the entire journey. Making you live the life he lives out in the steppes and see what he sees.
He stayed with seventy odd families during his journey as he bolted, trotted and walked his way through some of the most extreme places on earth. During the three years which he took to complete his entire journey, he experienced the huge contrast that existed between the nomadic societies of the steppes and the sedentary societies of western-Russia and Europe.
This book is a proof of the age old belief and shows how it still holds true. The one that says that, almost all the people out there are good people, only few are the bad apples.
The book shows a very clear picture of the nomads and the nomadic way of life. It shows us how nomadic societies have adapted to the extremes of the places and still have thrived by valuing the resources the nature gives them.
At times the book presents hilariously gloomy realities of places like, for example, the ‘forgotten’ town of Akbakai. The town itself was as gloomy and poor as you can think of but the two Russian alcoholics Grisha and Vitka with whom Tim spent his what would have been a lonely Christmas. were hilarious to say the least.
Before I had read this book, my favorite book was Seven Years in Tibet By Heinrich Harrer. I did not expect to find any other book as wonderfully written and intriguing as it until, I came across On The Trail Of Genghis Khan.
I would definitely suggest this book to those who are curious about and enjoy reading about people, cultures and travel.
What have you been reading lately? Do leave me a word below, I would love to hear from you.
**You can buy the book from here: Amazon India