Ode to Odin by Bruce McLaren

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A young British archaeologist makes a deal with the devil, the brilliant but dangerously unpredictable Odin. The two men forge a friendship on the anvil of the deserts of Central Asia.

Yet no success is guaranteed in a land of violence and corruption, of unforgiving deserts, populated by vodka-soaked and acrimonious Russians, Turkomen, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Tatars and Karakalpaks. The archeological enterprise largely depends on the genius of Odin, charming and fierce, handsome and capricious, the embodiment of self-belief.

The episodes in the desert bring an often-hidden part of the world into view: the people and customs of the region, unchanged for centuries, the ram-fights and vodka-drinking and dancing girls, the corrupt officials and the hangover of the Soviet Union still lingering over a land populated by the proud descendants of warrior-nomads.

Ode to Odin captures something universal, something beyond time.

“The story is great, and the prose, astounding.” – Pauline Yu Wikoff
“Brings to life Central Asia and its peoples with clear and pleasant prose.” – Zai Nox
“Like looking through someone else's jewellery box and finding some priceless gems!” – Miopollo

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