Saturday, August 1, 2015

Friday on Saturday a book review

Cephalopod Coffeehouse Friday's book review
is now a Saturday review for me because Friday is already taken by 
The Square Dogs !
Check out their Friday post. 
woof !
Like Hidden Fire
by Peter Hopkirk 

I read this book over 25 years ago.
In my quest to re-energize my brain and eye coordination
plus all the news about this area, I decided to reread it.
"Like Hidden Fire"
Peter Hopkirk was a reporter for the Times of London. 
He has written several books about Central Asia.  
Japanese Son was reading several of these for a University class.  We were
talking about them one day I picked up "Like Hidden Fire" and started reading.
It is the middle in the series but I didn't find any problem, it is a stand alone.

This book starts in 1914 with Kaiser Wilhelm realizing that his ploy
to gain the oil rich lands of Central Asia has failed.

His plan to inflame the Muslim world to start a Holy War against 
the unscrupulous British Nation and Russia and their imperial interests.
Kaiser William could then step in an take India and the rest of the British Empire 
would the fall into his hands from his despised cousin King George V.
Ever since taking the throne William had dreamed of making Germany the greatest
power on earth. 
It was a bold plan that instead started a bloodbath. 
As one book review said it reads like  James Bond thriller, 
with secret agents from both sides starting an uprising and trying to determine 
the outcome of World War 1
As I read the book (before isis) all the countries and names of cities 
that are embroiled in the events of today are there. With all the petty and 
horrific personal and religious battles that is still being played out today,
including isis and their war to take over the world.
A never ending circle of violence and in their own words the wish 
of the Muslims "to take over and return to the former years of their historical glory".
Just change the year and what you read has happened
 before and will happen today and tomorrow.
Teheran, Resht, Baku, Kandahar, Bahrain, Mesed, Baghdad, Basra, Kabul
all the same names that keep popping up.
This book is terrific on the whys and what is happening in this region of the world. 
An interesting but not dry, history of Central Asia.
I have read all the books written by Hopkirk and it has helped with 
my understanding of this volatile area.
One of my other favorites was "Trespassers On The Top Of The World"
How efforts of spies and explores to map and discover the secrets 
of the closed world of Tibet.

And just because I can here is a pretty to start the weekend.
reading. . .  parsnip
music. . .  Made To Run,  Blue Merle


  1. A very good review; it sounds like the sort of book I'd really go for.

    1. Thank You,
      I am not a writer and when I read the reviews bu You and Norma, I think
      Oh My Goodness how can I write a review.

    2. Thanks for the compliment, Gayle. William's reviews are far more professional than mine--I don't usually get into things like production values, scores, etc. If I'm enjoying the movie, I don't feel I should notice the technical aspects. In short, I'm an amateur.

      I do write them hoping the reader sees I've given it enough thought, though.

  2. This sounds like a very good book! I'll have to read it. I hope the library I work for has it or I can at least order it from another library!

    1. Since reading it a longish time ago it has help me figure out what is happening in that part of the world.

  3. This book sounds intriguing. Thanks for the review and for stopping by my blog

    1. The book was a very good read even with all the killing. nothing has changed in this area
      at all, violence is the name of the game.

  4. That sounds a very interesting book. It's sad, though, that the battles and conflicts you read 25 years ago are still going on today. Like you said, it's a never ending circle of violence.

    Your Square Ones are looking handsome and relaxed! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. It is a very different read.
      I am thinking back maybe 15 years ago I read it.
      But 20, 50 or 100 years it is the same no matter what any of it does.

  5. I have read some Peter Hopkirk in the past Gayle - but not really my kind of book - now those square ones in that pretty - that's another story.

    1. The Square Ones are the best as is your Tess.

  6. I've never read much about that part of the world, just know it's always been a bit of a mess. The Boys looks good!!

  7. I know I've said it before, but those dogs are adorable! This book sounds fascinating. I was not at all privy to this plot, and even your summary of the book was interesting to read. I will have to check this one out.

    1. The Square Ones thank you.
      Old history keeps repeating !

  8. Cute doggies :)

    The world is a depressing place these days - but I think it's been like that for a long, long time.

  9. Gayle can you drop me an e-mail....denisebydesigns at google mail. com I have some news.

  10. I enjoyed your book review and the comparison with today. Must be a fascinating book. Hugs from my two scoundrel dogs to your cute square ones. :)

  11. Sounds great. As you say, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

  12. So true! History always repeats itself!