"GREAT BOOK. Beautifully illustrated and written with panache and style. I just love the concept of origin myth or foundation myth and the story of how the greatest authors of modernity calling themselves The Inklings came together in a pub in Oxford, England called the Eagle & Child to discuss the problems of the 20th century and determined that disenchantment, materialism and alienation were the greatest threats of the day. They set a course to create a panacea for these ills in the greatest works of literature such as Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Professor Albo takes on a similar mission as he decodes the architecture of Astana to show how it reflects the city’s aspirations as it takes its place on the world stage as a living example of peace, prosperity, sustainability and religious tolerance."
-- Amazon Customer
"I bought the book because I heard on the radio that every person who gets the book can enter the challenge for a chance to win tickets to Kazakhstan. Apparently the author worked with a puzzler master to come up with a code in the book that reveals a hidden message. The only problem is that the book is so engaging that I forget to keep my eyes open for clues!"
-- Amazon Customer
"This book peers into the annals of time to show how Astana is the latest iteration of an age-old quest to rebuild the architecture of a paradise on Earth. We discover that Astana is more than just the new capital of the New World Order and the Illuminati, but instead a city of architectural splendour that provides a peaceful roadmap to world harmony and planetary sustainability. The photographs are breathtaking and after a few pages you will have forgotten everything you previously thought about the land of Borat!"
-- April Singleton
"Mind blowing book! So happy with my purchase! I would only be half joking if I said that this book kind of makes me jealous that I am not a Kazakh. The intelligence and sophistication with which this city was laid out is incredible—almost otherworldly—so it’s no surprise to find that one of the most remarkable buildings in this extraordinary Kazakh capital is in the shape of an enormous UFO! I was also stunned to discover that the world’s leading architects, such as Norman Foster, Manfredi Nicoletti, Kisho Kurokawa, and Adrian Smith designed many of the buildings in the capital conforming to an ancient Central Asian belief system called Tengrianism, represented by the color of the sky (blue) and the sun (gold). It gives the city an aesthetic continuity that is quite moving when you discover that is was entirely deliberate, purposeful, and inspiring. But this is just one small element of the book. Every page is full of scholarship and surprises about the meaning of symbolism, architecture, and little-known Central Asian history. King Arthur and the Amazons are from Kazakhstan!! Who would have thought? Apparently, Professor Albo. A must-read book! Destination Astana is certainly on my bucket list!"
-- Amazon Customer
"Amazing purchase! This book really makes you think and you have to take it in chunks because it will get your wheels turning. I bought it because of the $30,000 prize concealed in the book and who doesn’t like a challenge? My wife and I were fans of The Hermetic Code, Frank Albo’s previous book, but this is totally different. When I first opened the book I was marvelling at the images then I started to read a small paragraph from a page in around the middle of the book that I had randomly opened to, before I knew it I was hooked and reading it from the beginning. It’s like a history lesson if history lessons were totally interesting and engaging. It’s all about symbols and how they can be used in architecture to tell the story of a people and country. The Kazakh people have a rich culture and history, it’s not at all what I expected especially after watching Borat. Kazakhstan is nothing like the place represented by Borat — it’s the repository of the traditions, languages, and religions of the world!"
-- Amazon Customer
"If you like the works of Joseph Campbell you will love this book by Frank Albo. When I first picked up the book I was a little daunted by the subject matter but as soon as I opened its pages I was immediately entranced. The colour images are enough to keep one turning the pages but it is also a beautiful story about an amazing nation that emerged from the ashes of Soviet despotism in 20th century to become global leader in nuclear disarmament, the sustainability of the planet, and religious extremism. This book offers a unique solution as seen through the lens of Astana’s breathtaking architecture. Kazakh people almost perished in one of the worst environmental disasters - the drying up of the Aral Sea, they were also a testing ground for Russian missiles and nuclear bombs, and according to Dr. Albo, they represent one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse nations on the Earth - so who better to guide us through these times of uncertainty than past survivors of the very things that threaten us as a human race? Professor Albo unpacks his thesis in the form of a “foundation myth” and he shows how Astana’s buildings are suffused with cultural symbolism and meaning (if you know how to read them). I will be buying this book for everyone in my family this Christmas and hopefully one of my relatives will solve the secret message in the book and get to take me on a first class trip to Astana! Huge props Dr. Albo. Great book!"
"I loved this book! It’s really hard to explain what it is about because there is actually so much going on, every single page offers so much in terms of aesthetic, intrigue, and fascination. I read the intro and thought to myself, holy sh** am I ever dumb, I didn’t think my brain would be able to understand the lofty ideas the author was putting forth. I was wrong. The way that this book is written is outstanding. Children in school could understand these concepts because they are stories about all of us. This book is a triumph and an odyssey into the history of not just Kazakhstan but of our planet and us as a human race. It’s like Kazakhstan isn’t in the world, the world is in Kazakhstan! Not your ordinary coffee table book. It changed the way I look at the world around me."
-- Amazon Customer
"Astana - Beauty in Form and Substance. Astana is the perfect non-fiction architectural follow-up to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. But instead of Frodo or Prince Caspian, its buildings and architecture take us on an epic journey through the history and mythology of Central Asia. A beautifully illustrated must-read book!"
"For conspiracy sleuths and aficionados of architecture, mythology, treasure hunts, or the mysteries of Freemasonry, this is your new bible! Dr. Albo brilliantly unpacks the hype surrounding Astana, but then goes far beyond by showing us that the principal buildings of this extraordinary Kazakhstani capital offer an architectural blueprint to the peaceful destiny of the world! This book is Umberto Eco meets Robert Langdon meets Indiana Jones all rolled into one. Marvellous, absorbing, beautifully illustrated, and highly recommended!"