Marching across the steppe

I’ve just finished Tim Cope’s On the trail of Genghis Khan. I enjoyed it a lot. Partially, for me, that’s because it’s so evocative of an incredibly beautiful part of the world.

Cope tells the story of his journey on horseback, starting from Mongolia, riding across the steppe. It’s a remarkable story; even at 440 pages, that’s only a summary of the three years he spent on horseback, across an incredible number of different landscapes, in different countries, with different adventures.

Cope’s writing isn’t brilliant, but it doesn’t need to be. The story itself, and the experiences that he’s had, are remarkable, and he tells them well, without getting in the way of the story. There are points where he walks a delicate balance between telling parts of his personal history that are inextricably bound up with the story (a relationship break-up early on, and a death that leaves him devastated), but also being discreet at points (he meets some very real characters on his journey).

I found the book quite moving, because it reminds me of an incredibly beautiful place. If you like long riding, or central Asia, you’ll love this book. If you like good adventure travel writing, you’ll probably enjoy it; if you’re looking for writing that’s brilliant in itself regardless of the topic, this may not be for  you.

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2 thoughts on “Marching across the steppe

    • quietlypondering November 25, 2014 / 9:41 am

      Thanks – glad you liked it. I think it captured a lot of what’s beautiful about steppe country.

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