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Sacred Horses:: Memoirs of a Turkmen Cowboy Hardcover – March 15, 1994

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The genteel title doesn't do justice to this entertaining and enchanting account of Maslow's quest to visit isolated Soviet Turkmenistan and to ride its noble breed of horses. In 1988, filled with wanderlust and possessed with this idea, the New Jersey author and naturalist ( Bird of Life , Bird of Death ) studied Russian and riding, and three years later hooked up with a Sister City delegation from Albuquerque. His misadventures in Turkmenistan include meetings with the Turkmen Friendship Society (aka KGB), bouts of hospitality ending in Soviet/Moslem melancholy, and some unexpected bonding over the Beatles. After Maslow sees the lustrous Akhal-Teke racehorses, "a work of art that can trot and canter," bribery and finagling get him to the countryside, and a return trip, ostensibly to help a horse marketer, leads to fulfillment of his dream--a ride "flying forward like a magic carpet." Maslow's narrative intersperses both local and horse history with warmth and sensitivity for an unusual place still politically constrained and off-limits to most travelers.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Maslow is a naturalist and writer (Bird of Life, Bird of Death, LJ 3/1/86) with a lifelong passion for horses. Upon learning of a unique breed near extinction in Turkmenistan, then a Soviet Socialist Republic north of Iran and Afghanistan, the author managed to tag along with a friendship group visiting the desert country. It wasn't long before he was suspected as a spy by the KGB, running afoul of arcane Soviet regulations, and narrowly avoiding incarceration on more than one occasion. In the meantime, however, Maslow managed to travel the countryside, befriend many locals, and, subsequently, film a documentary about the legendary horse. Containing a good bibliography, this work gives a glimpse of everyday life and emerging capitalism in a former Soviet state, interspersed with a thorough history of the region and Akal-Teke horse. Recommended for public libraries and travel collections generally.
Tim Markus, Evergreen State Coll. Lib., Olympia, Wash.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 342 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (March 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679408754
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679408758
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #258,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Maslow travelled to Turkestan (one of the newly independent Russian Central Asian states northeast of Iran) on a search for the fabled Akhal-Teke horse, perhaps the
progenitor of all modern horses from the Byerley Turk to Mr. Ed. His adventures in this rather unique locale range from hilarious to incredible. Run-ins with KGB agents who have nothing better to do, fixing the unsanitary sink in his host's home (a doctor, no less!), and taking the night train across the forbidding Kyzl Kum desert are just some of the fascinating adventures. If you like travel writing, horses, adventure, or just love a good book, this is one you owe it to yourself to check out.
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Format: Hardcover
A wonderfully written description of an Indiana Jones-style trip to Turkmenistan by writer, film maker and naturalist Jonathan Maslow. A life-long horse enthusiast, he grew up eventually wanting to ride Akhal-Teke horses in the steppe country north of Iraq and east of the Caspian Sea where they were first domesticated three millenia ago. "Girls seemed to lose their interest in horses about the time they discover boys. I'm not a girl, and I never lost it." His description of learning Russian in a crash course at Johns Hopkins is alone worth the price.
The book is a hard-to-find treat that will introduce you to a breed of horse and the culture that produced it, along with their shared geography, all described with the wit and insight of a sophisticated writer who, despite hardships that would send most of us back home, loves his work and the people it introduces him to.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Sacred Horses:: Memoirs of a Turkmen CowboyOriginally purchased because of interest in Akhal-Teke horse. Maslow's expertise in ma

ny fields made it more than a horse book.I fear for his horse friend Guvanch R

os
I
e

vich and what happened to him and his wife.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
He is a bit of a jerk, but interesting story about other cultures. I like Gill Suttle's books better, especially Black Sands and Celestial Horses.
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