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Talking to the Ground: One Family's Journey on Horseback Across the Sacred Land of the Navajo
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Talking to the Ground: One Family's Journey on Horseback Across the Sacred Land of the Navajo

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  132 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
In 1992 Doug Preston and his family rode horseback across 400 miles of desert in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. They were retracing the route of the Navajo deity Naay+(c)+(c)' neizgh+in+, the Slayer of Alien Gods, on his quest to restore beauty and balance to the Earth. More than a travelogue, Preston's account of the journey is a tale of two cultures meeting in a sacred l ...more
Paperback, 284 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by University of New Mexico Press (first published 1995)
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Feb 01, 2014 Jeania rated it it was amazing
Talking to the Ground has to be one of the top ten books I have read in the last decade. I found the writing to be truly evocative of the land – in many ways the hero of the story – the place that grounds the Diné in their sense of self.

The travelogue follows a path of Monster Slayer and his brother, Born for Water, took through a Navajo creation story. Preston, his fiancée and her little girl, travel on horseback and camp through four hundred miles of trails, beginning at Navajo Mountain, Utah,
JR Lamb
Feb 09, 2008 JR Lamb rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Doug Preston takes you on a journey from southern Utah, through Arizona, and ultimately ending up in eastern New Mexico on horseback. He, along with his girlfriend and step-daughter, set out on the 400 mile horseback ride to follow in the footsteps of the mythical Navajo God Monster Slayer and in the process tells the story of their month long journey. The author weaves in the stories told by the people they meet along the way, about the Navajo culture and religio ...more
Douglas Preston wrote this book in the mid 1990's but the message is still relevant today. Taking his to be wife and her daughter on a horse back journey through the the desolate, history laden Navajo lands of the southwest, a 500 mile journey recreating the path of the Navajo Monster Slayer. Prestion writes beautifully of the culture and history of the Navajo as well as the scenery. He includes the interactions with the people living along the trail, the weather severity as well as the severity ...more
Feb 03, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it
A very well written description of the Navajo landscape journey. After reading most of Preston's books, it was interesting to get a close up look at a moment of his life.

“The sacredness of the landscape is not some nebulous religious idea. It is rooted in our very genes. We do not love the beauty of the natural world by accident, we evolved to love it. This love is so profound that it is actually encoded in our genes, and it helped us survive in the landscape. If we continue to destroy the lands
Jul 24, 2016 Kirkastroth rated it it was amazing
The best book I read all year so far. The author rides horses with his wife and daughter along the path of Monster Slayer and his twin brother Born for Water through the immense Navajo reservation. Monster Slayer killed monsters who were keeping humans from living. Along their route they encounter witches, skinwalkers and other supernatural beings of Navajo belief systems. They also learn about the witchcraft that doomed Chaco to demise. A fascinating book and I recommend it to everyone.
Jan 18, 2011 Karin rated it liked it
Mr.Preston explores the creation myth of the Navajos as he is traveling across the reservation.He finds many of the sacred landmarks described in the stories of the People.He also encounters undesguised racism which is only too real and underscores the relevance of the myth to the present.His description of the landscape is so vivid that you can just taste the sand in your mouth.
Jul 31, 2012 Seth rated it liked it
A fine travelogue of a trip across one of the most beautiful places on earth. The history and anthropology parts are great, as is the day-to-day stuff. The interactions with the various Navajo people he meets are well drawn and point him towards his thesis. The author appeared to be needlessly cruel to his horses a few times. He probably didn't know better. Still, I would recommend this.
Feb 10, 2009 Judy rated it liked it
The story of the melding of a new family as they journey on horseback across the sacred lands of the Navajo. The author tells the story of Navajo myth as they visit each site. An interesting read for the person intersted in the American West, especially Chaco Canyon.
Ezra Adams
Excellent, moving account of a family's adventure in the sacred lands of the Navajo. Preston's account makes me long to return there.
Dec 28, 2014 Michaela rated it really liked it
The prediction regarding white man's future raised the hair on my arms. What a wonderful experience to share as a family.
Jan 13, 2011 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Like I said he does great non-fiction tooo.
Guy Monroe
Oct 28, 2016 Guy Monroe rated it it was amazing
Very enjoyable. A fun trip down memory lane.
Harold Crowder
Apr 08, 2014 Harold Crowder rated it it was amazing

A MUST READ for anyone who wants to understand what the White Man did to the Native Americans.
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Douglas Preston was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1956, and grew up in the deadly boring suburb of Wellesley. Following a distinguished career at a private nursery school--he was almost immediately expelled--he attended public schools and the Cambridge School of Weston. Notable events in his early life included the loss of a fingertip at the age of three to a bicycle; the loss of his two fr ...more
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