Synopses & Reviews
An enormous and mysterious land, Siberia remains an exotic unknown that has haunted the imagination of Westerners for centuries. Colin Thubron takes us into the heart of Siberia on a journey of discovery from Mongolia to the Arctic Circle, from Rasputin's village in the west through tundra, taiga, splendid mountains, lakes and rivers to the derelict Jewish community in Birobidzhan in the far eastern reaches of the region. More than a travel book, In Siberia
is a moving and profound portrait of a region rich with history (and the remains of an intriguing prehistorical past), religions, and a profusion of fascinating peoples and cultures.
Traveling alone, by train, boat, car, and on foot, Thubron explores this vast territory, talking to anyone he can find about the state of the country today and what it is like to live there. He finds a land of spectacular natural beauty, marked by the horrors of the Gulag and Soviet exploitation of its abundant natural resources. Beneath the permafrost, all too near the surface, lie bones and nuclear waste. And yet in counterpoise to the horror is the extraordinary human compassion he encounters: Wherever he goes, somebody takes him in and feeds him, no matter how poor they are. Perhaps the "core to Siberia" for which Thubron is searching turns out to be an unshakeable desire to believe, a quintessentially Russian hopefulness that is born of faith. Thubron traces it from Dostoevsky through the wreckage of communism to present day Siberia where it appears under other names.
Written in a marvelously elegant prose, In Siberia penetrates a mysterious and beautiful part of the world in a way that no other book has been able to do.
An evocative portrait of one of the most breathtaking yet little-known places on earth, written by England's #1 bestselling, award-winning author--"one of the two or three best living travel writers, in some ways probably "the" best" (Jan Morris). Map.
About the Author
Colin Thubron is an acknowledged master of travel writing. His first books were about the Middle East—Damascus, Lebanon, and Cyprus. In 1982 he traveled in the Soviet Union, pursued by the KGB. From these early experiences developed his great travel books on the landmass that makes up Russia and Asia: Among the Russians
; Behind the Wall: A Journey through China
; The Lost Heart of Asia
; In Siberia
; and most recently, Shadow of the Silk Road
Colin Thubron is an award-winning novelist as well as, arguably, the most admired travel writer of our time. He lives in London.