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Taxi to Tashkent: Two Years with the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan Paperback – August 30, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (August 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595429971
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595429974
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,381,482 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Fleming grew up in Salinas, California, and attended California State University, Fresno, where he received a BA degree in journalism. Fleming has lived in Los Angeles, London, St. Petersburg, Russia, and currently resides in Austin, Texas. Taxi to Tashkent is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nadroj on October 31, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Taxi to Tashkent" dovetails over two growing genres of writing: Central Asian studies and Peace Corps memoirs. Harboring vast potential for interest, both genres are fast becoming cliche, even while not yet reaching greater audiences. Such is the fate of niche writing. But here, Fleming offers hope.

In general, books coming out of Central Asia are either chock-full of the same regurgitated travelogues (Silk Road, Great Game, KGB, Taliban) with which one quickly grows familiar. Or, they offer contemporary observations of a troubled region with much to tempt the foreign investor into dreaming and much to dissuade the international corporation from acting. In other words, everyone wills himself a TH Lawrence. Fleming doesn't waste our time with any such pontification.

Equally monotonous is the ever-expanding library of the returned volunteer memoir, in which we witness as a young idealist slowly learns what 'dirty' means while playing catch with village children. These are just modern spins on "Innocents Abroad". Fleming also spares us from such repetition.

In "Taxi", we meet a volunteer who finds much to report around him, while resisting the temptation to evaluate his observations for us. Fleming doesn't feel the need to explain it all; he's comfortable with the ambiguity of the surroundings. The reader will feel the same humorous, depressing and frustrating reactions to life-as-fish-out-of-water as do many individuals who have experienced life as an outsider. Further, Fleming doesn't fit in with the average age demographics of volunteers (fresh out of college or retired), so he's somewhat isolated even among his familiars.

Don't worry; you'll still gaze at Tamurlane's crumbling azure domes and the shrunken Aral Sea.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By World Traveler on October 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
The author has a dim view of Uzbekistan and the message is very negative. Its unfortunate that he had such a horrible experience with the Peace Corp, which seems to have colored his entire experience with the region as well. I lived in Tashkent, Uzbekistan for two years and think it is a very interesting country and I have some very fond memories of the people and culture. If you want to read a fiction novel that accurately portrays modern day Uzbekistan, read The Opportunists by Yohann de Silva. Here's the link: The Opportunists: A Novel
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Texas Reader on October 6, 2007
Format: Paperback
Taxi to Tashkent is a terrific eye-witness account of a Central Asian country. More than a introduction to the food, customs and daily life in this blue-eyed Muslim country, Fleming shows with honesty and humor the challenges of living as a fish out of water. Not only does he give a genuine account of his host country, but is honest about the challenges of being a Peace Corps volunteer. This is a must read for anyone with romantic notions of travel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Uzbek8 on July 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
As a former Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan myself, I have more than a passing interest in the subject matter of Taxi to Tashkent. However, I think this book would appeal to a wide audience. For one thing, it's a very entertaining way to learn about an area of the world that most of us know very little about. It's also a well-written memoir of what it was like to serve in the Peace Corps in part of the former Soviet Union.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Earl of Schmoe on April 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Being someone who has not traveled much, but who is interested in knowing about other cultures and parts of the world, I found this book to be an interesting first-hand account of the author's experience. He describes the surroundings and the culture very well from his perspective as an American. I enjoyed meeting the people he met through his descriptions and experiencing something of what it was like to be in the Peace Corps for two years. Well written and enjoyable to read.
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