Travels in Siberia

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When I started Travels I was expecting a brief history of the Soviet Union, maybe a little about the fall of Communism and it’s affect on the population and of course, the role of Siberia in all of that. What I didn’t expect was an epic, sweeping historical, cultural, and psychological story about Russia (in all her various forms) told with warmth and humor. Frazier writes about Siberia’s more famous exiles (Dostoevsky, Lenin, Stalin) and some not-so-famous, like Natalie Lopukhin (exiled for copying the Empress’ dress, no kidding.) He also chronicles life in the post-Soviet landscape, with less despair and more hope than many other authors. Frazier has an obvious love for Russia and it shows in his tender depictions of her.

Travels in Siberia

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 region’s fascinating, enduring appeal. In Travels in Siberia , Frazier reveals Siberia’s role in history–its science, economics, and politics–with great passion and enthusiasm, ensuring that we’ll never think about it in the same way again.

With great empathy and epic sweep, Frazier tells the stories of Siberia’s 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 century’s indispensable contributions to the travel-writing genre.