Saturday, October 19, 2013

Book Review - On The Trail Of Genghis Khan by Tim Cope

I saw most of the six part documentary when it aired on the ABC and this really caught my imagination. When the book was released, at Fathers Day, I had to buy it. But I also had to finish Sandakan and The Da Vinci Code before I was allowed to read it.

Tim, quite the adventurer, decided to relive the nomad life and travel on horseback from Mongolia to Hungary, following much in the steps of Genghis Khan and his Mongolian armies, it details a journey of epic proportions in a very down-to-earth style. During the three years it took to complete there were numerous moments of tremendous hospitality, recollections of great moments in history and explanations, bureaucratic nightmares, personal tragedies, illness, accomplishments and introspection. I grew to love hearing his stories and almost felt like I was tagging along. He became one with his animals and, I suggest, a much stronger person along the way.

I love the book and will be asking my son to read it. Anyone with an adventurous spirit will be captivated by it. So much so that it only took a couple of flights and then another week for me to complete. Can't-put-it-down material.

There were some memorable quotations that I'd like to share:

In it I learnt that Genghis Khan tried to curb alcohol consumption - "If there is no means to prevent drunkenness, a man may become drunk thrice a month; if he oversteps this limit he makes himself punishable of this offence... What could be better than that he should not drink at all? But where shall we find a man who never drinks? If however such a man is found, he deserves every respect."

"It is dangerous to rest a horse too long, or a man, for they will soon relax and become weak, lazy, and disobedient." - Kazakh herder.

"The most dangerous wolf of all is that which walks on two legs."

"If you ever have to rush in life, rush slowly." - Baitek and others.

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