The book swings back and forth between the history of Mongolia (from the Khans to the Communists) and the author's two trips. One was near the end of the Communist regime, and his next trip (3 years later) was when Outer Mongolia was coming to terms with being a 'free country' again (not under rule of China or Russia). The differences between the trips are like night and day.
I have made 3 trips to Mongolia from 2001 to 2005, roughly 10 years after the visits by the author. The most fascinating thing to me was to learn (in retrospect through this book) how much the country had changed in its first 10-15 years of freedom. When I compare my own experiences with those of the author, you would expect the time lapse to be several decades instead of just one.
One book reviewer called this "often hilarious." I wouldn't say that, but it does have some distinctive dry British wit and numerous true-life stories bordering on the bizarre (okay, way over the border in some cases).
It's not a gripping travel tale, nor is it light reading. I think it would appeal most to people who have an interest in Mongolia. Just remember that the true story of Mongolia doesn't end with the author's second trip - many more changes have taken place since then. For a westerner's snapshot of Mongolia during the period of his two trips, tied in with history ancient and recent, it's great.