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In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared Paperback – 24 May 2007
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cracking tale...both hysterically funny and surprisingly moving...you will savour every page. (News of the World)
...extremely entertaining and informative...hilarious. (Daily Telegraph)
The only thing most people know about Kazakhstan is that homeland to Borat - and he isn't even real. Actually this vast place - the last unknown inhabited country in the world - is far more surprising and entertaining. For one thing, it is as varied as Europe, combining stupendous wealth, grinding poverty, exotic traditions and a mad dash for modernity. Crisscrossing a vanished land, Christopher Robbins finds Eminem by a shrinking Aral Sea, goes eagle-hunting, visits the scene of Dostoyevsky's doomed first love, takes up residence beside one-time neighbour Leon Trotsky and visits some of the most beautiful, unspoilt places on earth.See all Product description
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To be fair, Kazakhstan is a vast country (the size of western Europe), and transport within it is not well developed. This might make a thorough investigation of the country a long and expensive exercise, which in turn may contribute to my feeling of being slightly short-changed regarding the (wild) west of the country.
I bought this book as background reading for a business trip. It would be an equally good read even if you had no intention of visiting (it might just tempt you though!) It is an enjoyable romp through the country which introduces you to the history, geography, politics, culture and people in a conversational rather than lecturing manner. All travel books (although it's not just a travel book) should be written like this. I feel much more informed as a result.
Thanks for great read!
I thoroughly enjoyed this quirky, intriguing book.
In fact, I'm going there this year, and I learned tons from this book to go to Almaty with far more knowledge of the place than I would've had from dry travel guides.