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The Big Open: On Foot across Tibet's Chang Tang Hardcover – 1 May 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic Books; First Printing edition (1 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792265602
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792265603
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 3 x 15.2 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,784,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Very interesting 5 July 2004
By Sophie Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is another strong Ridgeway book. Although he doesn't have the wide range of material to draw from as in the Shadow of Kilimanjaro, this book is still fascinating. Anyone who reads this will be intrigued by the fate of the chiru, appalled that so many people could be convinced that their fur could be collected off bushes and rocks (including major magazine publications), and interested in the dynamics of four determined personalities working together to cross the Chang Tang. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Interesting read, hoped for more photos. 23 Jun 2006
By Richard Wong - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'd give the text a 4, but my real motivation for the book was because of Galen Rowell's involvement. Unfortunately there's only several photos in the book and seemed like his name was tacked on the cover merely to sell the book. Obviously he had passed by the time the book was written and was a major character in the story but I think if it was illustrated in the manner like Barbara Rowell's Flying South book then the book would have been a 4-5 star book. The photos were a bit lackluster as well, I'm sure with better editing this book could have been something special. I know Rowell probably had better photos from the trip than was presented here.

The idea behind the book was great as the motivation was to create a reserve to protect the Tibetan Chiru from hunters. I'd recommend the book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Great account... 12 Sep 2005
By Mahesh Srinivas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The book is a terrific account of a very challenging trek across Tibet's Chang Tang, in search of the elusive Chiru's calving grounds. Ridgeway's writing is outstanding in the manner in which he gets the reader to feel an integral part of the expedition, and to experience the risks and the challenges involved in such an impossible trek.

In terms of raising awareness about the chiru's unfortunate plight, this book, and the story on NG are hugely effective (I have not seen the TV documentary on the same, so I cannot comment on that.

Photography - one of the main reasons I bought the book is because the photography is by the legendary Galen Rowell, who was part of the trek. Galen's photography in the book is good, but well below his high standards in his own books. Surprisingly, I didn't see a single photograph that really made me go "WOW!" like a lot of Galen's photographs.

All in all, an excellent book that is difficult to put down.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Big Open 28 Sep 2004
By Scott Matthies - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Ridgeway does it again with a thoughtful, engaging story of a trek across the high tundra of Tibet looking for the calving grounds of the Chiru, an antelope which is in danger of extinction from killing it for it's wool. With Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and the late Galen Rowell; one gets to know these characters as friends and I'm envious of the time they were able to spend crossing an amazing landscape seen by few westerners since 1903. The Chiru were the reason for the trek and hopefully this book will help in their protection.
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