Reader reviews for In Siberia

Great insights into Russian life.
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Thubron travels where carrying a camera would convince the authorities that you were a spy. So he chooses not to take one. Thubron is prepared to travel rough and at risk in order to dig out stories from the most politically sensitive places on Earth. This book on Siberia is a fine achievement. We discover drink and shamanism, suspect science and reindeer herding as ways of life in an unforgiving environment where people hang on to survival by the meanest of threads. We are not spared hearing of the horror and indignities of Stalin's gulag of camps. A painful and enlightening book.
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I read this book just before a friend of mine was about to embark on a motorcycle trip across Russia, taking the Siberian route. The author paints a picture of this region of Russia that made me want to visit.
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I enjoyed this book immensely. All good science fiction should read like a travelogue. The reverse should be true but rarely is-- with the exception of this book. A riveting strangeness-- looking through this mirror darkly at the "peace dividend" at the end of the Cold War makes for paradoxically giddy yet sobering reading. The book is full of wonder and compassionate alienation-- the portrait of a stark landscape and its people haunted by its Gulag'ed, Stalinist past is unforgettable.
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Depressing. It really captures the "Soviet Union" that I've seen in Belarus but goes far beyond in showing a people's suffering. You just have to be amazed at the damage that results when a nation totally rejects God. Not sure I liked the writing style.
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