on October 6, 2008
I look at most books on Kazakhstan as I have many interests and contacts there. I picked this one up out of curiosity and was delighted to find it has far more detail and interest than the usual travel guide, with outstanding photography (including two- page spreads), essays on "Special topics" like petroglyphs, and literary excerpts. The information in any area I know about is correct and up to date. I must say I was surprised and pleased to see several people I know there referenced as contacts-- I can assure you they are good ones. Such subjects as natural history and esoteric ones like hunting with eagles and the local "tazi" dogs are accurate, something I have not seen often in guidebooks. "Kazakhstan" is both a good guidebook and a wonderful armchair tour of the country
on July 22, 2016
I lent this title from a library first, and liked it enough to add it to my personal collection. It's got beautiful photography and lots of asides relevant to a country study (culture, the land, human issues), but it also has enough information on ... yes, it's dated from 2008, but there are few books available to the general public that go into detail that cover this country in such detail. like it's been There's not many books with more than a couple hundred pages to them with a major publisher behind them; I know this one is put out by Odyssey, but it's the only one I can vouch for so far. Good for topics and issues that don't change or change slowly (history, wildlife, topography, cultural norms). No regrets.
on September 2, 2012
My husband and I are traveling to Kazakhstan to visit our daughter who works for Chevron in Atyrau. We were finding it difficult to find information about this large emerging nation. This book is well written and the information for tourists is well organized and very complete. The author is also a photographer so the numerous color photos are exceptional.
Included are also special sections on the history, politics, land and people, the arts and culture of the country. The traveller's tips are very complete. There are also a few literary excerpts included.
A beautiful, interesting and complete guide book.
on August 26, 2009
I ordered this book expecting it would be a guide to hiking, trekking, horseback riding and mountaineering in Kazakhstan, certainly that is what its title -- Nomadic Routes -- would imply to me. Instead, it is a general tour guide to the country and not a nature guide. As a tour guide goes, it provides the things you need to know as a first time traveler, with a very nice overview of the country's history and food and lovely photos of the scenery. However, even in that class, the paperback is impractical as it weighs nearly two pounds.
I have hiked, trekked and gone by horse in many countries, including Mongolia, and I was expecting a guide with local trail maps, topographical maps, a list of national parks, and charts rating routes for their complexity and none of that was in here. It offers overviews of what are the dominant sights in Kazakhstan, but even these are not clearly organized by province or orientation. The book drifts east to west, then meanders north to south -- vaguely. The one provincial map in the book has font so tiny as to be almost completely illegible even though the map spans two pages. There is little in the way of information of how to get in and out of each area, be it by rail, car, 4-wheel drive, or air. Also, for such a remote area, the glossary of useful Kazakh expressions is incredibly sparse, offering only about 40 terms -- including numbers! If you need to tell the doctor you fell and sprained your knee or tell the police you lost your passport skiing, you will be out of luck. If you are looking for a "Lonely Planet" type guide to the country, this is not it.