Sacred Horses:: Memoirs of a Turkmen Cowboy

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9780679408758: Sacred Horses:: Memoirs of a Turkmen Cowboy

The author of The Owl Papers chronicles his odyssey through Turkmenistan, a Moslem republic in the former Soviet Union, in search of the Akal-Teke horse, a rare equine breed, and the people who breed and raise them. 15,000 first printing.

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From Kirkus Reviews :

This plodding tale of Maslow's adventure to Russia's Turkmenistan in search of an exotic horse is salvaged only by the historical filler. What began as an itch to ride a fine Turkmen horse turns into a two-year struggle to secure an official invitation to visit a remote corner of the Soviet Union. After learning the Russian language, taking riding lessons, and desperately searching for contacts, Maslow finally lands a position on a visiting delegation representing New Mexico. Maslow provides an intriguing peep into the lives of male Turkmens, though by his account they spend most of their time eating and drinking vodka. Except for a few stereotypical references to the slavelike life of Turkmen women toiling for hours in the boiling kitchen, Maslow fails to provide any sense of women other than their duty to serve their men. Once, finding a strange woman curled up beside him, Maslow is inspired to write an essay on ``why men don't ride horses anymore,'' concluding that every civilization has ``to deal with the question of how to keep men's pants zipped.'' Such tangential gender stereotyping detracts from an exploration of the rich culture. His sometimes elitist attitude toward Turkmen officials and country people also seems out of place. Somehow he makes friends who invite him to return. On this second trip he manages a short ride on an Akhal- Teke purebred steed. But Maslow's dream of riding across the desert never materializes. He concedes that he is probably not a good enough rider to handle such a magnificent beast for the duration of the journey and credits Central Asia for teaching him to recognize and accept his personal limits, ``a hard lesson for a male.'' Interesting history of Turkmenistan and horses, but an awfully long and condescending account of a man's failed dream. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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.

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Jonathan Maslow
Edité par Random House (1994)
ISBN 10 : 0679408754 ISBN 13 : 9780679408758
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Maslow, Jonathan
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Maslow, Jonathan
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