White Fever is Polish journalist Jacek Hugo-Bader’s account of the people and places he encountered on his drive across Siberia, in the depths of winter in a Russian jeep.
En route he (and we) meet musicians, murder victims, drug addicts, nuclear test guinea pigs, shamans, followers of a Russian Christ, and the declining native tribes dying from alcohol abuse.
It’s a really intriguing read – not so much a travelogue in the sense of “I went here, then here, then here”, more Russian reportage, and an analysis of the peoples lost in the aftermath of the end of the USSR. At the end of each chapter, Hugo-Bader compares what he has found in 21st century Siberia with a 1957 Soviet future forecast called the Report from the Twenty-First Century; Communist utopia it is not.
Amazon.co.uk link: White Fever: A Journey to the Frozen Heart of Siberia – Jacek Hugo-Bader (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones)