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This great river of a book might be described as a portrait of pride, pride in all its aspects from the merest sterile vanity to the utmost delicacy of true honour, pride as it was felt by the Homeric heroes, and the knights of chivalry, pride in every shape and form. But of course it is also an immensely rich picture of an ancient way of life - one that would, apart from a few lorries and the distant rumble of a plane far overhead, have been familiar to Jenghiz Khan, and one in which the horse still receives the honour, respect, understanding and love that was its due in former times, for the greater part of the action takes place upon the steppes of northern Afghanistan, among the nest horsemen in the world. The two main currents in this stream are the complex love-hate relationships of the aged, almost legendary Tursen and his son Uroz, a brilliant horseman too, but one who has grown up under the blighting shadow of a famous and bitterly jealous father: they are both men whose emotions are upon the heroic scale, and their deeds and exploits match their feelings. The heart of the book is Uroz' prodigious journey right across the Hindu Kush on his splendid stallion Jehol: he has just failed to win the prize in that extraordinary mounted contest, the buzkashi of the steppes, at Kabul before the king, and in spite of his broken leg he has escaped from hospital to make his way home through the mountains by the deserted, half-forgotten tracks of earlier days, before there were roads in Afghanistan - a highly symbolic journey, with wonders, deadly perils and extraordinary encounters, but one that stands entirely upon its own feet as a breath-taking piece of straight adventure. It is during this journey that Uroz, in the darkness of his heart, entirely corrupts his groom, who starts out as a faithful, loving follower and ....

 
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Used availability for Joseph Kessel's The Horseman


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Hardback Editions

July 1968 : UK Hardback
Title: The Horsemen
Author(s): Joseph Kessel
ISBN: 0-213-76302-8 / 978-0-213-76302-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Littlehampton Book Services / Arthur Baker
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

January 1970 : UK Paperback
Title: Horsemen, The
Author(s): Joseph Kessel
ISBN: 0-586-02939-7 / 978-0-586-02939-8 (UK edition)
Publisher: Panther
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

 


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