From Publishers Weekly
The complex beauty, poverty and isolation of Mongolia captured Board's imagination for decades. He finally arranged a year-long teaching post there in 1995, after acquiring a master's in linguistics, touring in a punk rock band and developing a reputation as a reactionary San Francisco writer. The Byzantine trip to Ulaanbataar previews the surreal experience of living in a country where nothing works ("it doesn't matter how many Mongolians it takes to change a lightbulb. The new one won't work either")—not the plumbing, electricity, the security guards or the government. Yet despite the hardships of a winter that lasts from September to June, a constant barrage of language and domestic problems, and the unavailability of sexual partners of either gender (Board constantly seeks sex), the author becomes fully engaged in the intricacies of the country's customs. He participates in a sheep-killing ritual, plunges headlong into a wrestling competition, drinks Genghis Khan vodka and slogs through the mud of the town of Moron. When he returns to the sterile environs of New York, he plots his next trip to the ends of the earth. Board's scatology may offend some readers, and his obsession with sex parallels his obsession with Mongolia in this highly colloquial travel memoir. Photos. (Nov. 20)
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Those of you familiar with Mykel Board as the elder statesman of punk and agitator emeritus for MAXIMUM ROCK 'N ROLL, should now get ready to meet Mykel Board—world traveler, cultural investigator and English teacher. Mykel brings his unique and often inflamatory world view with him everywhere he lands and the Mongol hordes will never be the same. (Dale Ashmun, SCREW Magazine)
As if The Travels of Marco Polo had been written by Sir Richard Burton. (Bob Black)
At a time when travel writing has become a mere showcase for an author's endless philosophizing, Mykel Board's book is a refreshingly philosophy free recounting of people and events in deepest Mongolia, especially dear to those of who will never get there ourselves. The style is clean and direct, the viewpoint both dispassionate and loving, and there is no patronizing analysis of a foreign world on display. It's funny and true — some people may find Board eccentric, but I find his bent point of view remarkably sane. (Jennifer Blowdryer, NY Press)