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Even A Daughter Is Better Than Nothing Paperback – July 22, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Garrett County Press (July 22, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891053000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891053009
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,769,411 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

It's all in Wikipedia. It's half lies. (Actually, Wikipedia leaves off the music, ARTLESS, part of my career. Some say that's a virtue-- leaving it off, I mean.)

Readers are encouraged to contact me. I will answer... it may take some time, but (unless I've kicked the bucket), I will answer.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 8 customer reviews
The book is an enjoyable read and will be re-read.
A. Shelton
This is a book full of adventure and surprise and humor from a writer who is a cross between Davy Crockett and Oscar Wilde!
Leslie Miller
I'm surprised that Mr. Board had a liver when he returned to New York.
H. F. Corbin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Glenn Belverio on December 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mykel Board -- punk rocker, New Yorker, gonzo provocateur -- fulfills a lifetime dream by moving to Mongolia for one year to teach English...and I'm so glad he did. His easy-to-read writing style is brutally honest and hysterically funny, from his problems overcoming constipation (because Metamucil is not sold in Outer Mongolia, Board resorts to consuming rancid street food to encourage diarrhea), to his visits to Mongolian dance clubs, to the confusing hurdles presented in this post-Soviet limbo land ("Welcome to Mongolia!" is the standard response from natives when cultural idiosyncracies are brought to attention). Unlike most travel memoirs, there are no overwrought or pretentious analyses of a foreign culture -- even though there were times that I, a fellow traveler, longed for Mykel to take a deeper look at this rarely examined country -- making this book a fun, unrestrained ride through a remote, Kafka-esque kingdom. Buy this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Corbin TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
For years Mykel Board had wanted to go to Outer Mongolia. He realized that dream in 1995 when he went there to teach English at the National University in Ulaanbaatar. EVEN A DAUGHTER IS BETTER THAN NOTHING is the result of his stay. This volume is not like any other travel writing you will read. It is at once hilarious, I suspect at times hyperbolic as well as downright moving in places. He writes with obvious affection for the people he encountered on his year there; and even though he lands in a country far removed from anything he has even encountered--"this is Mongolia"-- he is never condescending.

Public transportion doesn't run on time, the plumbing doesn't work, classes are scheduled in the wrong classrooms, and signs saying someone takes credit cards usually don't mean that at all as Mr. Board repeatedly hears the mantra "this is Mongolia." What the writer does find is a lovable people not afraid of hard work and accepting of strangers. They dress up to have a photo taken, are offended if you do not eat their food-- even though you prefer not to eat unadorned fat-- poor Mr. Board at times reminded me a little of Cool Hand Luke's stuffing himself with eggs in the movie by the same name-- and can drink you under the table. These folks drink vodka like Americans drink Cokes. (I'm surprised that Mr. Board had a liver when he returned to New York.) He also found "Pro Wrestling, rock'n'roll, Christianity, and probably someday soon, McDonalds." But apparently no designer coffee shops yet.

Although Mr. Board describes himself as a good instructor-- and I believe him-- he on several occasions uses incorrect English, always making the same grammatical error: "He wimps out, leaving Sebastian and I stranded" (p. 270) is incorrect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By sophisticated bogan on July 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
A nice and easy read. If you're a fan of his Columns in Maximum Rock n Roll, you'll love it! Had me chuckling on the commute to work for a couple of days(only a couple though, as its not the longest book).

I'd recommend it for those who want something light-hearted and entertaing, it definitely got me out of the doldrums!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Miller on December 19, 2005
Format: Paperback
This is an incredibly hilarious and educational adventure at the far frontiers of modern culture. Author Board really does put you right there in the middle of this strange country, and he does so with a dry yet frantic wit and a sincere fondness for this ancient land and its people. This is a book full of adventure and surprise and humor from a writer who is a cross between Davy Crockett and Oscar Wilde! Wonderfully entertaining.
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