In Siberia by Colin Thubron

About the book

This is the account of Thubron’s 15,000-mile journey through an astonishing country – one twelfth of the land surface of the whole earth. He journeyed by train, river and truck among the people most damaged by the breakup of the Soviet Union, traveling among Buddhists and animists, radical Christian sects, reactionary Communists and the remnants of a so-call Jewish state; from the site of the last Czar’s murder and Rasputin’s village, to the ice-bound graves of ancient Sythians, to Baikal, deepest and oldest of the world’s lakes.  It is the story of a people moving through the ruins of Communism into more private, diverse and often stranger worlds.

 

Reviewed by Newcomers

An Illuminating and evocative writing. He manages to humanise the map of Siberia – the encounters with the people gave relief to the subject matter. Very well written excellent travel writer”

star rating ***

 

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The People's Act of Love by James Meek

About the book

1919, Siberia . . .
Deep in the unforgiving landscape a town lies under military rule, awaiting the remorseless assault of Bolsheviks along the Trans-Siberian railway. One night a stranger, Samarin, appears from the woods with a tale of escape from an Arctic prison, insisting a cannibal is on his trail. Only Anna, a beautiful young widow, trusts his story. When a local shaman is found dead suspicion and terror engulf the isolated community, which harbours a secret of its own . . .

Reviewed by  CC Readers Reading Group:

Good writing and descriptions. Some scenes and dialogue contrived. Opened up a little-known historical period. Vivid evocation of Siberia, the deep cold, fear, turmoil, the fragility of life. Not an easy read and some found it depressing. Perplexing. A re-read would be illuminating.

Star rating: ***

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