Travels in Siberia

Travels in Siberia

Book - 2010 | 1st ed
Average Rating:
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Ian Frazier writes about the geography, the resources, the native peoples, the history, the forty-below midwinter afternoons, the bugs. The book brims with Mongols, half-crazed Orthodox archpriests, fur seekers, ambassadors of the czar bound for Peking, tea caravans, German scientists, American prospectors, intrepid English nurses, and prisoners and exiles of every kind. More than just a historical travelogue, this is also an account of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union, and a personal reflection on the all-around amazingness of Russia, a country that still somehow manages to be funny.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ©2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780374278724
Branch Call Number: 915.7 FRA 2010
Characteristics: 529 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm

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dkulkarni
May 04, 2014

Great description of Siberia with good historical context. This is a rare breed as I have not seen a comparable book about Siberian travels. Last chapter is fantastic and puts the author above most of the famous columnists in his ability to analyze history & current events and synthesize about why things are shaping up the way they are.
I gave four and not five stars because: 1. The book alternates between a travelogue and a scholarly treatise about Siberia. The mixture doesn't always work too well and feels a bit jarring at times. 2. It could have really used some good editing. There are too many sloppy paragraphs. 3. It could really use some more maps and more relevant photographs. Photographs too are an odd mix of what you would expect in a travelogue and what you would expect in a history book.

m
megaculpa
Jan 17, 2013

Frazier is an indefatigable traveller and a brilliant writer -- curious, warm, funny and lucid -- making this book's 500 pages an almost effortless read. Filled with amazing history and insights into the Russian soul. Best travel book of 2010.

j
jfh
May 22, 2012

I am not usually a fan of travel books but having travelled through Russia, ''Travels in Siberia'' - and particularly the narrative style of its author - have appealed to me. A lot of stories brought back good memories. Ian Frazier, while searching to define what attracts him to Russian and trying to define the ''Russian soul'', brings the reader in areas not easily accessible and difficult to travel for the general tourist. It makes us want to go and explore these areas by ourselves. A huge volume, it is actually easy to read up to the point that you would like more to read.

achristinej Mar 02, 2011

With history interspersed among travelogue and anecdotal accounts both from the past and present, this book makes for a magnificant read. Easily my favorite read of the year!

Recommend "Travels in Siberia" to anyone looking for an engrossing read, Slavophiles, Russian history buffs, lovers of history in general, travel readers, fans of geography, and anyone just looking for something out of the ordinary that will make you laugh, gnash your teeth in frustration, marvel and yearn for travel or yes, maybe just to stay at home afterall.

What a delight and pleasure to read. Great selected bibliography too!

Slavomir Jan 17, 2011

In the first few chapters of this book I thought it was not going to live up to my hopes. But it just kept getting better and better. The last chapter of Part IV is superb. Endless stories and history of Siberia and those traveling to, in, from it. Very interesting reading and recommended highly. A long book to read in just one loan period but worthwhile for the determined reader (529 pages). Contains extensive notes, bibliography and index.

debwalker Dec 10, 2010

"As always, Frazier crafts a work of nonfiction that opens my eyes to a subject and a people I thought I knew something about. And how can anyone resist a book with observational gems like the fact that Lake Baikal "contains about 20% of the world's freshwater"?"
Top Ten Books of 2010: Robert Gray

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