Synopses & Reviews
A Dazzling Russian travelogue from the bestselling author of Great Plains
In his astonishing new work, Ian Frazier, one of our greatest and most entertaining storytellers, trains his perceptive, generous eye on Siberia, the storied expanse of Asiatic Russia whose grim renown is but one explanation among hundreds for the regions fascinating, enduring appeal. In Travels in Siberia, Frazier reveals Siberias role in history—its science, economics, and politics—with great passion and enthusiasm, ensuring that well never think about it in the same way again.
With great empathy and epic sweep, Frazier tells the stories of Siberias most famous exiles, from the well-known—Dostoyevsky, Lenin (twice), Stalin (numerous times)—to the lesser known (like Natalie Lopukhin, banished by the empress for copying her dresses) to those who experienced unimaginable suffering in Siberian camps under the Soviet regime, forever immortalized by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago.
Travels in Siberia is also a unique chronicle of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union, a personal account of adventures among Russian friends and acquaintances, and, above all, a unique, captivating, totally Frazierian take on what he calls the “amazingness” of Russia—a country that, for all its tragic history, somehow still manages to be funny. Travels in Siberia will undoubtedly take its place as one of the twenty-first centurys indispensable contributions to the travel-writing genre.
"Drawn to what he calls 'the incomplete grandiosity of Russia, Frazier's extraordinary work combines personal travelogue with in-depth history and gives readers a firsthand account of a place most will never see: Siberia. After 16 years of research, five trips to Siberia and more to western Russia, Frazier (Lamentations of the Father) recounts his obsession with the inhospitable place that doesn't officially exist: 'no political or territorial entity has Siberia in its name.' From the Mongol hordes that galloped across the steppes to the Soviet labor camps that killed millions, he intersperses the vast region's history with his own visits. Determined to immerse himself in Russian--and particularly Siberian--culture, Frazier embarks on a drive eastward across the tundra in the summer of 2001, accompanied by two guides. Seeing such sites as Irkutsk, the onetime 'Paris of Siberia,' Frazier and his companions travel 9,000 miles from the Baltic Sea to the Pacific in five weeks and two days, arriving on September 11. Since he hadn't felt Siberia's renowned bone-chilling cold, Frazier returned for a month in March of 2005, this time starting in the Pacific port of Vladivostok and traveling east to west. Part long-gestating love letter, part historical record of a place shrouded in mystery, this is Frazier at his best. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
A Dazzling Russian travelogue from the bestselling author of Great Plains
In Travels in Siberia, Ian Frazier trains his eye for unforgettable detail on Siberia, that vast expanse of Asiatic Russia. He explores many aspects of this storied, often grim region, which takes up one-seventh of the land on earth. He 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—from Natalie Lopukhin, banished by the czarina for copying her dresses; to the noble Decembrist revolutionaries of the 1820s; to the young men and women of the Peoples Will movement whose fondest hope was to blow up the czar; to those who met still-ungraspable suffering and death in the Siberian camps during Soviet times.
More than just a historical travelogue, Travels in Siberia 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. Siberian travel books have been popular since the thirteenth century, when monks sent by the pope went east to find the Great Khan and wrote about their journeys. Travels in Siberia will take its place as the twenty-first centurys indispensable contribution to the genre.
The bestselling author of "Great Plains" delivers a dazzling Russian travelogue in which he trains his eye for unforgettable detail on Siberia. He explores many aspects of this storied, often grim region and writes about the geography, the resources, the natives people, the history, the 40-below midwinter afternoons, and even the bugs. (Foreign Travel)
More than just a travelogue, Travels in Siberia 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.
New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year
A Boston Globe Best Book of 2010
A Christian Science Monitor Best Book of 2010
A San Francisco Chronicle Top 10 Books of 2010
A Washington Post Best Book of the Year
A Kansas City Star 100 Best Books of 2010
A St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best of 2010
In this astonishing new work from one of our greatest and most entertaining storytellers, Ian Frazier trains his perceptive, generous eye on Siberia. With great passion and enthusiasm, he reveals Siberias role in history—its science, economics, and politics—and tells the stories of its most famous exiles, such as Dostoyevsky, Lenin, and Stalin. At the same time, Frazier draws a unique portrait of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union, and gives a personal account of adventure among Russian friends and acquaintances. A unique, captivating, totally Frazierian take on what he calls the “amazingness” of Russia—Travels in Siberia is “a masterpiece of nonfiction writing—tragic, bizarre, and funny” (San Francisco Chronicle).
One of the most acclaimed travel writers of our time turns his unflinching eye on an American South too often overlooked.
One of the most acclaimed travel writers of our time turns his unflinching eye on an American South too often overlooked
Paul Theroux has spent fifty years crossing the globe, adventuring in the exotic, seeking the rich history and folklore of the far away. Now, for the first time, in his tenth travel book, Theroux explores a piece of America andmdash; theand#160;Deep South. He finds there a paradoxical place, full of incomparable music, unparalleled cuisine, and yet also some of the nationandrsquo;s worst schools, housing, and unemployment rates. Itandrsquo;s these parts of the South, so often ignored, that have caught Therouxandrsquo;s keen travelerandrsquo;s eye.and#160;and#160;On road trips spanning four seasons,and#160;wending along rural highways, Theroux visits gun shows and small-town churches, laborers in Arkansas, and parts of Mississippi where they still call the farm up the road andldquo;the plantation.andrdquo; He talks to mayors and social workers, writers and reverends, the working poor and farming families andmdash; the unsung heroes of the south, the people who, despite it all, never left, and also those who returned home to rebuild a place they could never live without.and#160;and#160;From the writer whose andldquo;great mission has always been to transport us beyond that reading chair, to challenge himself andmdash; and thus, to challenge usandrdquo; (Boston Globe), Deep South is an ode toand#160;a region, vivid and haunting, full of life and loss alike.
About the Author
PAUL THEROUXandnbsp;is the author of many highly acclaimed books. His novels include The Lower River and The Mosquito Coast, and his renowned travel books include Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and Dark Star Safari. He lives in Hawaii and Cape Cod.