Steve's Reviews > The Great Game: The Struggle for Empire in Central Asia

The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk
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's review
Mar 14, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: history, non-fiction

If you liked The Man Who Would be King (story or movie), Kim, the Flashman novels, or Errol Flynn's Charge of the Light Brigade, this is the book for you. Seriously, there's enough material in this book for twenty movies or novels. What a cast of characters! Evil Khans, torture, battles, sieges, (lots of) intrigue, all taking place on remarkable landscapes that are often both beautiful and cruel. Hopkirk is a wonderful writer, and he brings the "Great Game" to life. On the downside, it is a popular history. At one point he recounted an instance where 39 Cossacks routed 5000 defenders during the siege of Tashkent. Color me skeptical. Still, this is as entertaining a history as I've read in some time. If you are thinking about rereading Kim, I can't imagine better background material to prepare the way.
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