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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 26 January 2006
Having read the other Amazon review, I feel compelled to write something as my experience of the book was the opposite; I enjoyed the book immensely. I found the account of the mental journey Jonny Bealby found himself on was just as inspiring as the narrative of his silk road travels. I somehow feel I know and understand myself a little better for reading it.
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on 15 June 2004
I have read his other book and bought this one to see if his romance from the previous book continued. As he says in his own words "so for the most part our trip had been a disaster". This is true of the book too and I have to confess to geting bored and skipping to the end. I enjoyed his other book about Africa.
This however had none of the effortlessness and passion and is not as inspired or inspiring. He still writes well and I enjoyed passages of the book but is just unfortunate that the subject was not as interesting as his other books.
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on 20 November 2006
It's rather unusual to read a travel book that is so honest from start to finish. For Johnny to have had problems with his travel partner right from the beginning casts a bit of a downer on the book, and the references to making the documentary at every point remind the reader that it's a very unconventional travel story. It's a shame the programme didn't go out on the BBC or Channel Four.

Probably the most unusual travel story I've ever read.
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on 5 March 2015
I really enjoy Jonny Bealby's books and have read them all. Again Bealby gives us an insight into him and his feelings about the journey. However unlike his other two books this one spends too much time on the relationship or non-relasionship with his travelling partner at the expense of the other aspects of the trip.

Still really enjoyable.
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As I love riding and travelling in far flung places I was biased towards enjoying this book, and I was definitely not disappointed. Unlike me, who likes a bed at night, Jonny Bealby and his companion did their trip from Kashgar to the Caspian Sea, along the old Silk Road, the hard way, travelling independently most of the way and sleeping wherever they could lay their heads.

Everything that can possibly go wrong on such a journey is bound to make reading about it more amusing and enjoyable for someone sitting in safety and comfort thousands of miles away from danger and deprivation; but some of the shambolic and foolhardy decisions Jonny made astonished me. For a start, choosing a female companion for the sake of the film he was making of the journey, he chose not the best rider or toughest trekker but the most attractive (rejecting the potentially most suitable because she was older than him)...luckily Sarah also turns out to be feisty, courageous and determined. I was so impressed with her hardiness I managed to recover from the fact she set off on such an epic journey without a coat - or knickers. She also finds herself extremely attracted to one of the gold-toothed guides, much to Jonny's chagrin. Serves him right, I thought.

I started out thinking Jonny was patronising and condescending to women, acting like a dirty old man around teenage girls, but eventually warmed to him because of his blunt honesty regarding his regret in mixing up the journey of a lifetime and possibility of a fresh start with a potential soul mate (after his previous love died suddenly and horribly ten years previously) with writing about it, and filming it too. Realising that he was as alone as ever he resolved to put an end to roaming around the world and help others to do so: by setting up Wild Frontiers, a travel company whose brochures I have often devoured. In the end I wondered if the mix of arrogance and insecurity around women could be, as it often is, the result of a single-sex education! I was totally won over by page 181 when he admits that Sarah has her own path in life and is not just a bit-player in his.

Unfortunately there are a few quibbles. Why no maps - essential! And why no photos - I would so loved to have seen photos of the Heavenly Horses and the Akhal Tekes, Kara, Torugart and Yalki Palki, the dog whose name meant Bloody Hell. Also, the book appears not to have been proof read - not even cursorily. Jonny by his own admission failed English O level five times and I was shocked by the abysmal mistakes which an editor should have tidied up: a few random examples being "later" for latter, "infantasised" for infantilized, someone is oddly described as having "audacious eyes..." However these really are only minor quibbles, I was very sorry to end the book and will seek out Jonny's first two. He's a born raconteur and I'm still giggling at the image of two horses being loaded onto a low sided lorry, and the hilarious consequences. An amazing, courageous journey that fills me with envy and admiration.
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on 3 November 2009
The basis for this book is that Jonny Bealby needed to save a TV deal by finding a strange woman to accompany him, on horseback, along the old Silk Road from Pakistan to the Caspian Sea. It's hard to believe that this could generate such a good book, particularly as he didn't get on well with the woman he found. Nevertheless, Jonny Bealby's talent for candid self-analysis is as entertaining here as in his previous two books, Running With The Moon and For A Pagan Song. The three books form an autobiographical travel trilogy and, I think, should be republished as such.

Jonny Bealby is an excellent, insightful writer. I was sorry when I got to the end of the book and read his resolution not to write any more. Then I was glad to read an interview with him, dated August 2009, in which he said that one day he would write another book. Whatever it is, I'm looking forward to reading it.
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on 11 January 2012
I have got and read all 3 of Jonnys books. They are all excellent and i would thoroughly recommend all 3 - not your usual up ones own a..e travelogue. Just a shame that Jonny is a Posh Boy - only Posh Boys do these trips!!
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on 21 September 2010
I have visited Samarkand and Tashkent as the kind of package tourist Jonny disparages,so I bought the book hoping to find out more about the Silk Road.However he spends far too much time moaning about the lack of sexual attraction with his chosen fellow traveller. The blurb made it sound fascinating, pity the book did not live up to it.
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on 24 August 2015
Excellent book, very exciting. Good service, thanks
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on 14 January 2016
Interesting journey
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