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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than a travel book
It's marketed as a travel book but it's much more than that. It gives a very good insight into Kazakhstan past and present including the political/economic developments. The author spent days talking to and traveling around with President Nazarbayev. The president comes across as a very smart guy who has done really well given the appalling situation he inherited. The...
Published on 29 Dec 2007 by Book Reader

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far too cosy
Not a bad book, and good holiday reading for people that have never come in to contact with the country and find it somehow 'exotic'. However, I would suggest that the basis for the book getting published was Robbins' contact with Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan. This is problematic.

In the three or so chapters featuring Nazarbayev (the only...
Published on 7 Mar 2011 by Christopher Rickleton


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars honest, warm and funny ..., 10 July 2008
This review is from: In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared (Paperback)
A perfect combination of tragic and funny... an honest account of Kazakhstan's troubled past and mixed present..Most importantly, a great glimpse of the nation's people..Christopher Robbins has managed to grasp and convey a true face of modern Kazakhstan..
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must read for those who are interested in the country., 20 Jan 2008
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This review is from: In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared (Paperback)
As Kazakh I felt that the books is quite 'real', in terms of people author met and places he visited. It's a good book to read whether you miss Almaty/Kazakhstan or whether you want to learn more about it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far too cosy, 7 Mar 2011
Not a bad book, and good holiday reading for people that have never come in to contact with the country and find it somehow 'exotic'. However, I would suggest that the basis for the book getting published was Robbins' contact with Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan. This is problematic.

In the three or so chapters featuring Nazarbayev (the only chapters that couldn't be written in a three month stint in the country with access to the internet for a spot of polished research) Robbins was almost sycophantic in his praise of the Kazakh president for life.

I'm sure that Robbins is intelligent enough to know that, coupled with all the good 'visionary' work Nazarbayev has done for his country, he has also allowed himself all the privileges of a typical Central Asian president - telecommunications networks owned by family members, throwing journalists out of windows, banning free media, denying opposition politicians television time etc.

That Robbins ignores this side of N.N leads to a portrayal of the Ruler of the Nation that challenges Kazakh media reports for its level of blind praise and misleads readers. There is a reason for this: Nazarbayev would never have agreed to meet him if he had any suspicion that Robbins would write negatively about him in front of the Western 'audience' he is seeking to woo. In other words, the author compromised his integrity in order to get hot copy.

Sadly, this adds a dark tint to an otherwise happy-go-lucky travelogue which makes for a fun companion for a few days. Like Nazarbayev's press officer, a Nazarbayev 'critic' turned loyalist, Robbins has been co-opted. He may argue that the book is largely apolitical and focuses mostly on Kazakh history and culture, but his complete failure to mention Nazarbayev's dismal human rights record is nevertheless an insult to the people have been on the wrong end of it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A really enjoyable read, 28 Dec 2008
I bought this book on a whim & it is absolutely brilliant. You don't need to have a specific interest in Kazakhstan to enjoy it: if you like travel literature you should enjoy this.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Breezy but intelligent, 21 Nov 2007
This review is from: In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared (Paperback)
Breezy but intelligent, this travelogue provides a thoughtful and sympathetic introduction to one of the most misunderstood countries in recent years. In it, Robbins manages to intertwine the many strands of Kazakhstan's history and peoples to show how a country of nomads transformed first into a land of gulags and exiles, then into an oil money-rich `Central Asian Tiger'.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Made me smile, 12 Jun 2007
This review is from: In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared (Paperback)
I have visited Kazkahstan a few times (with work) and am amazed at the whole country and its people, this book gave me a warm feeling in my tummy recalling memories. It also made me even more eager for my next and following visits. The writing is "make you smile" funny and also has some serous information and facts about this massisve and well natural-resourced country - the home of Apples, Trousers and probaly the King Arthur legend (that's really hard for a Welsh girl to admit!) Enjoy it - it's all good and not a bit like Borat.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you know nothing about Kazakhstan & want to read ..., 1 July 2014
If you know nothing about Kazakhstan & want to read it
Excellently & entertainingly written about somewhere about which I knew nothing ...not even the name of the capital .... Its not Almaty
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must if you are visiting, 12 Oct 2013
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And a must if you are curious about the history and people of this region. I haven't read all of this book but took it with me on my first visit and dipped into it when time allowed. I shall finish it now that I'm back. It's a good overview of the history of the region and a fond introduction to the people. The ninth largest country in the world deserves more understanding that it currently receives and this book goes some way to redressing this. I would thoroughly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Useful intro to Kazakhstan, 30 July 2013
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Read this on the plane to Almaty, and found it quite a good introduction to the country. Couldn't help but wonder how Mr Robbins was able to access the very high-profile folk he chose to interview, and also that he doesn't seem to speak Kazakh.
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5.0 out of 5 stars :), 29 Jun 2013
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It is a really cool and interesting book :)
I have never seen a book like this about Kazakhstan.
Recommend to read it.
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In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared
In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared by Christopher Robbins (Paperback - 24 May 2007)
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