Author(s): Christopher Robbins
The only thing most people know about Kazakhstan is that it is Borat's homeland - and he isn't even real. Actually this vast place - the last unknown inhabited country in the world - is far more surprising and entertaining. For one thing, it is as varied as Europe, combining stupendous wealth, grinding poverty, exotic traditions and a mad dash for modernity. Crisscrossing a vanished land, Christopher Robbins finds Eminem by a shrinking Aral Sea, goes wolf-hunting by helicopter, visits the scene of Dostoyevsky's doomed first love, takes up residence beside one-time neighbour Leon Trotsky and visits some of the most beautiful, unspoilt places on earth.