978-1-58574-703-0 / 1585747033

In The Empire of Genghis Khan: An Amazing Odyssey Through the Lands of the Most Feared Conquerors in History

by Stewart, Stanley

Publisher:The Lyons Press



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About the book:

In recent years, Mongolia has received unprecedented literary attention. Stanley Stewart's third travel book, In the Empire of Genghis Khan, puts Stewart in the company of Tim Severin, Nick Middleton and Benedict Allen, telling of his journey across Mongolia on horseback, in the hoofprints of the famous Mongol emperor.

Stewart's narrative is moulded in the style of older travel classics, as both an epic journey and an historical quest, and the 2001 Thomas Cook Travel Book Award has been given to him for the book, making Stewart only the second writer--after Jonathan Raban--to win the "Booker of travel writing" twice.

Interestingly, Stewart is a very different writer to Raban, with his prose being most distinctive when dwelling on Mongolia's wild geography--here, its lyricism and scope make it a joy to read. Insightful when discussing Mongol culture and history, and sensitive to the concerns of the nomadic way of life, his only flaw in this book is in trying to drag too much humour out of his subjects, which occasionally makes him a less than sympathetic companion to the isolated people that he meets.

Nevertheless, In the Empire of Genghis Khan is beautifully written and Stewart's style wins through. Travelling with local guides and meeting hundreds of Mongolian nomads, his book introduces us to a little-known world of vodka-drinking shamans and summer festivals in the steppe. In the course of his exciting, demanding journey, he paints an intimate portrait of a world that most of us find difficult to imagine, and of a way of life that will probably vanish during our lifetimes. --Toby Green

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