When Stephen Bodio was a young boy in the early '50s, he saw an image in National Geographic that became forever etched in his mind: It was a photograph of a Kazakh nomad, dressed in a long coat and wearing a fur hat, holding a huge tame eagle on his fist. And a lifelong fascination with Central Asia was born.
Mongolia, a vast country located between Siberia and China and little known to outsiders, was long under Soviet domination and inaccessible to Westerners. When it became independent in 1990, Bodio began planning a pilgrimage to see if the eagle hunters of "The Picture" had survived. A lifelong falconer himself, he longed to visit the birthplace of falconry and observe the traditions that had survived intact through the ages. His fantasy was realized when he traveled independently twice to the westernmost region of Mongolia and spent months with the people and birds of his dreams. The ancient rituals of hunting with eagles are fascinating, and the remarkable relationships these nomadic people have with their birds of prey are thrilling.
With vivid prose and humor, Bodio gives life to his dreams and the people, landscapes, and animals of Mongolia that have become part of his soul.
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Well written but needing better narration
- Barry McPherson