Sandy Sopko's Reviews > Travels in Siberia

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier
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U_50x66
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Jan 02, 12

Read from December 10 to 28, 2011

With a daughter and son-in-law serving in the Peace Corps in Ukraine (and also telling me recently that they are considering a trip from Moscow to Peking on the Trans-Siberian Railroad next summer), I found this book fascinating. I think the writing could have been tighter, more concise, in spots, and a firmer hand with editing would have been appreciated for the several pages that read more like transcriptions from Frazier's notebook than finished work. Overall, I enjoyed the voyeuristic, riding-shotgun feel I took from the text. Honestly, though, I'm a bit disappointed that after hundreds of pages, I am still mystified about Frazier's intense love for this part of the world. Five trips? Why? From Frazier's description, Siberia sounds like just a super-sized version of Alaska (I'm picturing the Kenai Peninsula with castaway machines and equipment strewn all over an otherwise rustic and empty landscape), but without the compensatory scenery (at least Alaska's Harding Icefield glaciers and rugged mountains could leave you breathless). Why so wonderful, Mr. Frazier?
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