Central Asia is an undeniably fascinating place. The histories of the countries are the stuff of fairy tales, and one has to wonder why more movies haven't been made about them, since they're really riveting in anecdotal form.
I've taken a lot of classes on the area, and did my thesis research in Uzbekistan. As a person who's read quite a bit about these places, I can say that The Great Game follows a tragic trend in Central Asian writing: people who study the place in depth, for some reason, are incapable of communicating the information without sucking the life out of it.
I found the writing in The Great Game to be deplorable. The prose is riddled with cliches and trite expressions, and the style, which I suppose was meant to be 'easy reading,' is in fact stifling in it's simplicity: it feels like there are few sentences over five words long, and the simple prose makes the book an intensely boring read, despite the fact that it's covering fascinating people and events.
Maybe it was just me, but I felt like the author was talking down to me throughout the book. I say 'throughout the book,' but I never managed to finish it. The author lost my interest quickly and never managed to regain it, largely because of his incredibly poor form.
I'm still looking for the ideal book on Central Asia to recommend to people, so they can understand why I'm so in love with the region. Tragically, this book is absolutely not it.