Acclaimed travel writer Rick Antonson sets his adventurous compass on Mount Ararat, exploring the region’s long history, religious mysteries, and complex politics.
Mount Ararat is the most fabled mountain in the world. For millennia this massif in eastern Turkey has been rumored as the resting place of Noah’s Ark following the Great Flood. But it also plays a significant role in the longstanding conflict between Turkey and Armenia.
Author Rick Antonson joined a five-member expedition to the mountain’s nearly 17,000-foot summit, trekking alongside a contingent of Armenians, for whom Mount Ararat is the stolen symbol of their country. Antonson weaves vivid historical anecdote with unexpected travel vignettes, whether tracing earlier mountaineering attempts on the peak, recounting the genocide of Armenians and its unresolved debate, or depicting the Kurds’ ambitions for their own nation’s borders, which some say should include Mount Ararat.
What unfolds in Full Moon Over Noah’s Ark is one man’s odyssey, a tale told through many stories. Starting with the flooding of the Black Sea in 5600 BCE, through to the Epic of Gilgamesh and the contrasting narratives of the Great Flood known to followers of the Judaic, Christian and Islamic religions, Full Moon Over Noah’s Ark takes readers along with Antonson through the shadows and broad landscapes of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Armenia, shedding light on a troubled but fascinating area of the world.
"Sharing a treasure trove of compelling and beautifully observed stories, Antonson draws us along on a remarkable, yet deeply personal odyssey through near-mythic lands. This is one of those rare books, full of emotion and insight, the work of a true traveler.”
?Dina Bennett, author of Peking to Paris
"This tasty, spicy feast of a book could have gone beyond its 350 pages. Once picked up, it is hard to put down."
"It's not just about the journey, or standard travel writing. It's about storytelling, and Rick takes us on a magical, almost mystical adventure to destinations once only shrouded in mythology."
?Peter Greenburg, travel editor, CBS News
"Antonson shows an indefatiguable and intrepid spirit in this swift account of his ascent of Mount Ararat and his travels through some of the most dangerous territory in the Middle East, including Iraq and Iran . . . A book filled with the enthusiasm of discover, the delight of accomplishment, and the relief of return."
"Packed with historical facts and anecdotes, enhanced by excellent maps and photos, this is a fascinating travel adventure to one of the most ancient areas of the world . . . A reader's feast that is not to be missed."
?John A. Cherrington, author of Walking to Canada
"An educational, amusing, and inspiring tale told by an experience and worldly traveler . . . a fabulous weaving of adventure and research."
?Shannon Stowell, president of Adventure Travel Trade Association
"Rick Antonson radiates the curiosity and vigor of an explorer and an intrepid traveler. His writing captures the essence of the spirit of adventure and trust in fellow human beings."
?Mandip Singh Soin, mountaineer and explorer, founder, Ibex Expeditions India
"From the beginning, Antonson establishes himself as a perceptive and evocative travel writer. The various viewpoints he encounters both on the climb and in subsequent visits to the region are respectfully and sensitively presented, with some historical background to assist the reader. History is not always pretty and hikes don’t always go according to plan. But both are combined here in an engaging and entertaining book."
"Impressively well written, exceptionally 'reader friendly' in organization and presentation, notably informed and informative, "Full Moon over Noah's Ark" is a consistently compelling read from cover to cover."—Midwest Book Review