Five-Star Reviews on Amazon of “West Meets East in Kazakhstan”

It’s a real pleasure to me, as an author, to see positive reviews of a book I have written.  I have been most fortunate to have had 5-star reviews so far on or

The book is readily available via AuthorHouse (the publisher), Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Funny and insightful! Best book about Kazakhstan I ever read…

By Nomad in Caledonia on 22 Nov. 2015

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase

I already recommended the book to a few colleagues posted there. Never have I seen a book about Kazakhstan that would have so much insight delivered with equal amount of warmth and humour. Apart from being one of the top western lawyers in town in the 90- 00s, Tom turned out to be someone akin to Bill Bryson of Kazakhstan. Just listen to this account about love of sunflower seeds in Almaty. ‘ ever wonder how this city is supplied with sunflower seeds? I can imagine that there must be great long trains, with tandem diesel engines up front and with many freight cars behind, each burdened with tons of sunflower seeds that arrive in Almaty on a daily basis from the Sunflower Belt of Kazakhstan. How else is the necessary supply delivered to the nation’s capital and its many consumers of sunflower seeds? I can even imagine that, in future and more prosperous times, there will be competitions to deliver the freshly harvested seeds to the capital amid extensive television coverage. Perhaps these events will be similar to the mad rush that occurs each year to deliver Beaujolais nouveau wine by exotic means from Paris to London so that some prominent restauranteur can announce that he or she is the first one to be able to offer the new batch’

An absorbing, must-read for anyone interested in this part of the world

By Amazon Customer on 7 Jan. 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Whilst a travel guide will tell you where to stay and what to visit, this book will give you a wonderful insight into an outsider’s view of a country and culture, how it is to spend prolonged periods of time within that culture, as well as providing a fascinating glimpse at a country shortly after its independence. In essence, it will help you to understand what it is that makes Kazakhs Kazakhs.

Being a collection of stand-alone articles, it is very easy to pick up and put down without ever losing the thread. The style is easy to read yet engaging, the topics being about life in general (hospitality, habits, leisure activities, weddings, etc.) and avoids ever trying to be a heavyweight analysis of the country.

Those who have been to Kazakhstan (either on a one-off visit or over a prolonged period) will be able to identify with a great deal of what has been written; and those who have never been will gain an appreciation of this part of the world through the eyes and words of the author.

I thoroughly recommend this book.

Interesting and Informative

By MistaYan on 19 Dec. 2015

Format: Paperback

Before going to Almaty, Kazakhstan for my first time I wanted to be somewhat prepared before jumping into unknown territory. The YouTube videos were somewhat helpful but they painted a narrow picture of the culture and social interaction.

Sleuthing the Internet for more information I came across Johnson’s e-version of “West Meets East in Kazakhstan”. This book contains a collection of articles that Johnson had written for an Almaty newspaper. In these articles, Johnson gave his perspective of what he was experiencing as an American expatriate in the early years of the country’s independence.

Johnson’s personal accounts were written in a very interesting style and they brought to life in living Kazakh color a better understanding of their beautiful culture. I have recently returned home from Kazakhstan and happy to report that Johnson’s book helped prepare me to adapt and integrate well with the Kazakhs during my visit.


 adventures on the frontier 7 Dec. 2015

By Joel C. Dobris – Published on

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

Very much enjoying this book. Fun read for adventure travelers, international business folk and lawyers who dream of the frontier

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