Much as I've derided Theroux for his general douchebaggery in my past reviews/mentions of his books, I've ended up reading a few of them. Despite the fact that he's a condescending, inconsistent jerk, his travel books do have their good points. He goes to places many don't go, travels slowly and (relatively) cheaply, talks to locals, and describes landscapes well. Furthermore, I found him to be slightly less of a jerk in this book compared to the other two I've read - perhaps he's mellowed with age - and he actually even lets a few details slip about his personal life. There's still not much in there about Russia, though.