Finished this off this morning, after starting it last weekend – it’s been sitting on the bookshelf in the Gyford Family caravan ever since I’ve had the joy to go there. A gem of a travel book – partly because I’d not appreciated how inhabited Siberia is, partly because the region is so vast, partly because of the heavy-handed impact relatively recent history has had on the long-standing cultures and societies that had developed there, and partly because Colin Thubron makes the effort to engage and to be engaging as he travels through Siberia eastwards from Russia to the Pacific, mostly by train, but also by bus and car, boat and aeroplane.
Having been busy satisfying my desire to visit Central Asia via litery stand-ins, these tales from the lands to the north of the ‘Stans, Mongolia and China show just how artifical political borders are for the societies that have always lived there, and yet how intrusive, restrictive and destructive the political and powerful can be. The book is full of fascinating facts, and a cast of characters whose lifestories post-Thubron I’d love to learn.
Buy it: Amazon link