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Cielo Azul
Galsan Tschinag
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Cielo Azul

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  350 ratings  ·  60 reviews
El origen de todo son los suenos... pero nadie puede conocer nuestros suenos, ni los buenos ni los malos. Solo se le pueden contar al viento y escupir tres veces despues. Asi empieza la historia que cuenta un nino de Mongolia. Tiene un sueno malo: suena que su perro, Arsylang, esta enfermo y que se muere. El nino crece y su mayor deseo es poseer un rebano propio y una tien ...more
Published by Siruela (first published August 1st 1997)
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3.62  · 
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 ·  350 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: german
Amended in light of additional information(**)

Der Blaue Himmel , written in German(*) by the Tuvan shaman, poet and novelist Galsan Tschinag (known as Irgit Shynykbai-oglu Dshurukuwaa when he is home - b. 1944) is the largely autobiographical story of a young Tuvan boy, Dshurukuwaa, in the early 1950's living in the bosom of his extended family in the ancient manner of his nomadic people, moving across the monstrously wide steppes of Mongolia and southern Siberia and the mountain valleys of the
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gets three stars because:
1. It talks about a way of life that's under threat but avoids the emotional manipulation that I dread in expat authors writing about home.
2. The boy narrator is just a boy and not a precocious mouthpiece for an adult. (Cough… cough… JonathanSafranFoer…)
3. It taught me about a part of the world that I know very little about.

Not a rocked-my-world read. But definitely a made-my-world-bigger read.
This book is written from the point of view of someone very young (just how young I cannot say, but under eight years old) and it's fairly short, which might lead a person to conclude it's a children's book. But it's not the kind of book children would enjoy. It has no plot to speak of; the narrative simply drifts along. Yet, if you don't mind that sort of thing, there is much here to enjoy. The descriptions are spot-on, and I learned a great deal about the life and culture of the nomadic herder ...more
Emma Deplores Goodreads Censorship
3.5 stars

This is an interesting, evocatively-written short book about the life of a young shepherd boy belonging to a nomadic people in Mongolia. Set in the 1940s, the book is based on the author’s own life – the boy has his name, and in the author’s note (which puts the book in context) he refers to the character as himself; reading this alongside a memoir with numerous fictionalized elements highlighted the existence of that grey intermediate zone between fiction and nonfiction. The author – w
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is by far THE most lyrically moving book I've read this year. The coming of age story of a young boy growing up in a nomadic tribe in the harsh Mongolian steppe; under the looming shadow of communist Russia. His world is as different as it can get from mine; yet I could so well identify with his sentiments! One of those books that make you feel - Yes! I used to feel like that when I was a child how did the author know? It's sheer genius to remember so vividly what it's like to be growing up ...more
James Klagge
Since this is not a plot-driven story, I don't think it matters if I mention some of the things that happen in general terms.
This is a tragedy, and ends with virtually no consolation. It is the first of a trilogy of novel-memoirs, so perhaps in combination there is something in the later books that gives the reader, not to mention the author/protagonist, something hopeful. As it is, the boy loses almost everything he cares about. On the next to the last page (186) he pulls himself together, but
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, fiction
A very different and interesting book about life in a nomadic pastoral community. When I was reading James Church's latest book which included a trip to Mongolia, Church spoke of the blue sky and nothingness of the steppes there. It reminded me of a book by a Mongolian author that I'd considered reading when it came out in 2006. However, Tschinag is not Mongolian but Tuvan. Tuvans are an ethnic minority in Mongolia and reside in the northwest corner in the Altai Mountains. There is also a Russia ...more
Marzhan Omarova
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this book expecting a light story for children and by the end of it I am impressed beyond measure. The Blue Sky seems slow but is a very powerful and colorful story, nomadic life is so beautifully portrayed here. Galsan Tschinag is a person you want to meet in your lifetime as he is a living treasure, who, as he puts it, went from a hunter-gatherer to a professor. Who else has done that?
Tschinag is a storyteller who makes small events such that we can imagine wanting to listen to them again and again as we sit around the fire. His memoir covers his very early years (before 8) as a Tuvan nomad in Mongolia. His language is characterized by the naivete and openness of childhood, but we can already see the wisdom that characterizes his adulthood.
Incredible book from the perspective of a young boy growing up in Mongolia under the Soviets. The story of the Tuvans echoes many indigenous stories from all over the world. But just fascinating to learn about the Tuvan culture and life. The author, Galsan Tschinag, has also been a leader in preserving and saving the culture, history and language of the Tuvan people.

A memoir-style fictionalized version of the author's life growing up in the steppes in the 1950s-60s in the time of Soviet control
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Largely autobiographical story of nomadic herders under early Communism. Intense, beautiful writing.
Harry Rutherford
A book from the perspective of the youngest child of a family of nomadic Tuvan sheep herders in Mongolia. Apparently it’s the first book of an autobiographical trilogy, along with The Gray Earth and The White Mountain.

It’s set in the communist Mongolia of the 40s, although the politics is something remote in this book: both because the family is literally remote from the centres of power, and because it is seen through the eyes of a child, for whom it is much less important than the day to day l
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having lived in Mongolia for two years, I was really looking forward to reading this book. It did not disappoint. The book follows a short period of a boy Mongolian herder. Rather than having the typical "hero's journey" so often portrayed in Western literature, the book focuses on the short stories from the perspective of a boy trying to understand where he stands as two very different worlds collide. His ancestors have been herders since the time of Chingis Khan, but as the Soviet Union begins ...more
Richard Brand
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A coming of age story of a young boy in Mongolia. The story has very little plot. The young boy is the youngest and the old grandmother and young boy become very close. The brother and sister go off to school in a different city. The family has a falling out with the uncles and aunts. The grandmother dies. The boy has a horrible winter, the lambs die, and his dog eats poison and dies. The telling is well done, and the cultural and requirements of living in his community are very interesting, the ...more
Michele Benson
This book takes place in the Altai mountains of northern Mongolia. The narrator is a young shepherd, the baby of his family and beloved by all. I found the worship of the mountains and rivers and especially the sky hard to follow. Overall, I thought the story (and there was actually a story) easier to understand than the book from Czechoslovakia. The story takes place when the nomadic traditions of the Tuvan people are being threatened by the Soviet Union. Galsan Tschinag, the author of this boo ...more
Yuri Andrade
As a reader I am always looking for gluey books, those who you start reading and you don’t wanna stop reading until you finish it. Despite The Blue Sky is a interesting book, it is not my kind of book.

Wrote by a Mongolian poet and writer Galsan Tschinag (or Irgit Schynykbajoglu Dshurukuwaa in native Tuvan language), this book described by a young shepherd perspective tells his own history in the Altai mountains where the winters can be harsh and tough. Moreover the boy describes his relationshi
"The Gentle West of the Mongolian empire"
By sally tarbox on 9 February 2018
Format: Hardcover
First part of an autobiographical trilogy, which takes us through the early years of the son of a nomadic Mongol herdsman. The way of life is traditional; the family live in yurts, follow shaman beliefs and live by raising sheep. Yet the influence of the Communist state is felt even here, where children are sent away to school and their parents expected to kill a fixed quota of wolves (or pay a 'fine' in
May 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An autobiographical story about a young boy's childhood in the plains of Mongolia. Set probably in the 1950's it is a story of the gradual change in society as modernity impinges on the tribes way of life in what is a tough and challenging environment.
We learn a lot about the society as the family adopt an old woman into their group and Yurt, as his brother and sister have to go off to the enforced school and his relationship with his parents is effected by what happens to his beloved dog.
Aug 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-booklist

"Fortunately, I remember nothing about the incident. And fortunately, no one remembers the details of what happened next."

"We had each other, we were with each other, we lived for each other."

"I lived in fear as well as in hope."

"This would be my future. It had just begun. My mind told me as much, But at the bottom of my heart I had not accepted theses thoughts, nor did I want to. With everything in my power I resisted."

Heather Caveney
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a beautifully written novel (memoir) and I will await reading it's sequel with pleasure. It's the story of a young Tuvan boy and his love of family and animals and the hard times that befall him and his people. If it's nearly as poetic in German (original text) as this translation! I savored the words and images and re-read many a line. I highly recommend it!
Reading the world in books: Mongolia.
Nik Korba
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing. I couldn't speak after reading it. Such a fantastic look at the challenges children face when engaging with the adult world.
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating memoir that satisfied my pursuit of books that give me an insight into different lives and cultures.
This was fine. It was lyrical and a really interesting insight into Tuvan (a tribe in Mongolia) culture. So I felt like I learned a good amount, but it was also a bit on the depressing side.
Dec 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful book!
Galsan Tschinag is a Mongolian shaman, and he writes about his childhood among the Tuvan people as though he were still the young child he was then, describing events as they happened. It was not an easy life, and he shares a number of particularly difficult moments, always in the voice of the child who didn't really understand why such things were happening to him. One of those caused him to question the religious teachings with which he was raised. But he obviously retains a great affection fo ...more
It is quite clearly stated in the afterword that this is the first part of Galsan Tschinag's autobiographical trilogy, even if the front page of the edition I read has a (default?) disclaimer:
"The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real people, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author."

This is not one of the books you read for the exciting plot, but one of those books you read in order to learn something new about the world. The book tells
This is a gentle, slow paced memoir which reads like a novel. The child’s voice, perspective and priorities feel very authentic. The pace is appropriate to the content of living a nomadic, farming lifestyle, but I can imagine some people might find it hard to slow their minds down enough to enjoy it. It includes a beautiful, deep relationship between a boy and his dog, which you will relate to if you grew up with four legged friends. It also provides a lot of insight into the worldview and what ...more
Joan Horkey
The Blue sky was okay. Not what I expected.
Bryn Hammond
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steppe-fiction
A little tragedy, a child’s tragedy. Act One of three, not on his life but on his youth. He must be under eight in this, since at eight children are sent to school, that is to indoctrination, with which The Gray Earth is concerned. The White Mountain tells how this “double life” cracked him up as an adolescent. In his afterword he says, Both of the latter books contain stories more tragic than those in The Blue Sky, but since the art of survival is strong among nomads, some primordial serenity h ...more
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Around the World ...: The Blue Sky/The Gray Earth 2 36 Jan 28, 2013 08:44PM  

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Galsan Tschinag (Чинаагийн Галсан), born Irgit Shynykbai-oglu Dshurukuwaa (*26 December 1944 in Bayan-Ölgii Province, Mongolia) is a Mongolian writer of novels, poems, and essays in the German language, though he hails from a Tuvan background. He is also often described as a Shaman, and is also a teacher and an actor.

Born in the upper Altai Mountains in western Mongolia, the youngest son of a Tuva