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The Spirit-Wrestlers

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  52 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
The new book from the acclaimed author of The Crossing Place and The Bronski House.

In Moscow, a man points on a map to the place where he was born. He is a Doukhobor, a 'spirit-wrestler', a member of a group of radical Russian sectarians. He is pointing to a village beyond the southern steppe, at the far south of the old Russian empire: 'I was born here, ' he says. 'On the
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Paperback, 256 pages
Published 1999 by Flamingo
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Zuberino
For me this book is the perfect 3.5 - not quite deserving of a 4 but definitely better than a 3. Let me try and figure out why.

Back in the mid-1990s, Philip Marsden went walkabout one summer in southern Russia and the Caucasus. The Soviet Union had only just broken up, but the many conflicts of the region - Chechnya, Ingushetia, Ossetia, Abkhazia - were already set in motion. Marsden travelled in a sullen landscape of shell scars, distant rifle shots, border posts bound up in the hostile snow.
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Rachel
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this slim paperback from the dollar rack of a local bookstore, even though I generally avoid travel writing. The authors always seem to be living the high life. How difficult is it to wax lyrical about dining in the finest restuarants or sleeping in five-star hotels? Being a Russophile, and having already failed to finish several massive tomes about the history of that country (The New Russians, Inside Russia Today), I figured a buck was an acceptable risk. This book was such a compe ...more
MIL
有時候我很懷疑
這些旅行家到底是從哪裡知道
這麼多民族,地區的複雜歷史恩怨與紛爭呢??
我把書裡幾個我覺得有興趣的民族或地名都查出來了
光網頁資料應該就是這本書的兩倍厚了
如果要做一個有系統的旅行計畫
(本書作者顯然有這樣的計畫書存在)
當然不可能只是像我這樣按圖索驥
得對南俄有相當的認識才行
這背後是多少參考資料啊???
以下是我查道的東西
太多了不想一一放連結了
我也沒看完
斯基泰人
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians
http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E6%96%...
阿蘭人
http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E9%98%...
霍波爾
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doukhobor
http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/e...
http://sc.hrd.gov.tw/ebintra/Content....
薩爾美沙人
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarmatians
http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E
...more
Mark
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book was given to me by a friend after they read my novel set in Siberia. The Dragunov Deception. Philip Marsden's work is a meditative account of his fascinating solo journey through remote parts of Russia. This is a really first rate piece of writing and transcends travel journalism, deserving to be a future classic. He observes, comments but never crudely judges what he sees. He moves into the landscape not merely across it as a traveller. He has left an account of much that is quietly h ...more
Haydn Corper
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Forget the usual travelogue. This is a an insightful and fascinating voyage of discovery through the beliefs and spiritual traditions of peoples from Moscow to Armenia. Written from a very personal perspective, the book could have been pretentious; its not. Its tightly written, with beautiful descriptions of people and the places they inhabit. The author's astute observations about the soul of the communities he engages with tells us more about them than than any number of sociological treatises ...more
Luca
Jun 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange journey from the banks of the Don to the Caucasus in the footsteps of the weird sect of the Doukhobors, the 'Spirit wrestlers'. Not sure I follow the logic of the book sometimes, but some of the characters and situations and anecdotes made this an enjoyable read for me. Especially the Caucasus section.
Cams
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
A fascinating and well-written insight into the Russian Soul, filled with interesting characters and anecdotes. For anyone that's spent any time in the former Soviet Union, you will find much to relate to in the book.
Kenneth
Feb 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/13845794
Verity
Feb 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Reveals mysticism in rural Russia so ingrained that decades of oppression couldn't snuff it out. Fascinating stuff!
Christine
Took me quite a while to get through but I found it very interesting and it provided a lot of history.
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Philip Marsden is the author of a number of works of travel writing, fiction and non-fiction, including The Bronski House, The Spirit Wrestlers and The Levelling Sea. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and his work has been translated into fifteen languages. He lives in Cornwall.
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