Beasts, Men And Gods – Ferdinand Ossendowski

wpid-wp-1400084881377.jpegBeasts,  Men And Gods. I’d like to write a book with a title like that.  A take-it-or-leave-it title. An I-don’t-give-a-flying-fuck-what-you-think title. Written by a Polish chemist on the run  for the Bolsheviks during the Red-White civil war in Siberia and Mongolia. Ferdinand Ossendowski was a Polish noble in trouble with the secret police of the Russian Czar. Then he got into even worse troubles with the not-so-secret police of the Bolsheviks.  He fled to Siberia, then Mongolia and finally Manchuria, in the course of which he matter-of-factly spent a Siberian winter by himself in a forest in a self-made shelter. Consorted with a confessed murderer and torturer.  Headed a contingent of White Russian and Polish soldiers into Mongolia. Fought bandits and befriended Cossacks. Befriended the Crazy Baron, Roman von Ungern-Sternberg (who killed more easily than Genghis Khan, it seems). Met the Living Buddha. Killed nasty and murderous Red spies. Broadly introduced the myth of the subterranean realm of Agartha in the West (now say thank you Rosecrucians, Theosophists, Freemasons and others who believe Foucault’s Pendulum -which incidentally is one of the best novels ever written- is entirely fact). Made it back home and to Paris, New York and who knows where. Wrote bestsellers in different languages.
The most important thing I learned? Do not mess with noble Polish exiles, because chances are they are über-awesome.  Like Ossendowski or the entire Yankovsky clan. Plus they’ll also speak more languages fluently than you can shake your stick at. Read the book.

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