Talking to the Ground
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From the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller The Lost City of the Monkey God comes an entrancing, eloquent, and entertaining account of the author’s adventurous journey on horseback through the Southwest in the heart of Navajo desert country.

Dear Reader,

The 25th Anniversary Edition of my book, Talking to the Ground, is published in a new binding, with an Afterword I wrote especially for this edition.

Twenty-five years ago, I set off on an extraordinary journey of exploration, retracing on horseback the epic Navajo Story of the Creation. At the beginning of time (the Creation Story goes) the earth was overrun with monsters and demons. A hero named Monster Slayer hunted and killed those demons in a series of tremendous battles, leaving their carcasses scattered about the land. Those bloody remains (and the scars of the fights) then became the mountains, buttes, canyons, mesas, and other natural features of the present-day world.

I retraced many hundreds of miles of Monster Slayer’s journey, accompanied by my fiancée, Christine, and her daughter Selene. The only possible way was on horseback, because most of the country was fantastically remote and dangerous, with no trails or roads. The three of us rode across Utah, Arizona and New Mexico, packing our supplies and camping under the stars. We met many Navajo people who welcomed us, brought us into their homes, and shared with us their stories and sacred ceremonies. They loved what we were doing.

The special Afterword I wrote for this edition is entitled “The Great Terror.” It recounts a frightening Navajo prophecy and how it connects to recent, extremely disturbing archaeological discoveries in the Southwest.


Talking to the Ground is an adventure on the level of The Lost City of the Monkey God. But the book is more than mere adventure: it is a story that weaves together history, archaeology, anthropology, and Navajo religious belief and prophecy – along with, it must be said, some passages of sheer terror.

With warm regards,

Douglas Preston


“One tough journey, luminously remembered” --Kirkus Reviews 

“Like traveling across unknown territory with Lewis and Clark to the Pacific”

--Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee.

"As fresh and charming as it is originally conceived and smartly executed."

New Mexico Magazine

"A thought-provoking study of the intricate relationships among geography, religions and cultures in the modern Southwest. . . . Preston, a superb researcher, presents difficult concepts in lucid language." –Smithsonian

"A gripping adventure that blends Navajo mysticism, prophecy and the epic story of creation with the day-to-day account of a family's physical struggle across the Southwest's deserts and mountains and their spiritual struggle to find their place in the world." –Santa Fe New Mexican


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