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Dans les forêts de Sibérie

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,511 ratings  ·  392 reviews
Assez tôt, j’ai compris que je n’allais pas pouvoir faire grand-chose pour changer le monde. Je me suis alors promis de m’installer quelque temps, seul, dans une cabane. Dans les forêts de Sibérie.
J’ai acquis une isba de bois, loin de tout, sur les bords du lac Baïkal.
Là, pendant six mois, à cinq jours de marche du premier village, perdu dans une nature démesurée, j’ai tâc
Mass Market Paperback, Folio #5586, 292 pages
Published April 26th 2013 by Gallimard (first published 2011)
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Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books which I began by enjoying, but which so steadily disappointed and frustrated me throughout that I set it down again after a week with a sense of relief. It’s not awful, and it certainly is diverting — but then any record of a six month stay in a cabin in remote Siberia could hardly fail to provide at least a few good anecdotes. The problem is that the author’s penchant for aphorisms goes beyond a matter of literary style: you begin by thinking that he can’t possibly be ...more
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite enjoying this book quite a bit, I think it's only fair for me to warn coming readers that Tesson can at times come across more than a little insufferable. Vast quantities of alcohol and self-satisfaction are Tesson's closest companions in his tiny cabin, and while the former makes for entertaining stories, the latter only offers us dull quasi-philosophical rambling.

When the intellectual snobbery abates, a few chapters into his stay, the book is delightful. This is Laura Ingalls Wilder in
Sylvain Tesson is never going to be one of my favorite authors, so much is clear to me now. I got angry, last year, after reading his Sur les chemins noirs (no English edition yet), because of his misanthropy and cancerous self-pity. This earlier work, "Six months in Siberian forests" is also a diary report, this time of a stay in a log cabin on Lake Bajkal, in Siberia in 2010. This book is more digestible, because Tesson is much more descriptive, and paints the harsh living conditions (especial ...more
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: travel, hiking, nature, 2013
My book of the year? Quite possibly. If you are intrigued by the idea of living in a hut for six months by a lake in the depths of Siberia then this book is surely for you. Tesson is French and writes extremely well, he took 80 or so books with him (listed in the book), three or four crates of vodka and several large boxes of cigars. Sounds civilised to me. This is Tesson's only book in English, we need more!
Michael Livingston
This is a fascinating memoir of 6 months spent living basically alone in a cabin by Lake Baikal. The author is kind of a dick - pretentious, hyper-dudely, quasi-philosophical - but the landscapes and lifestyle he describes are spectacular. There are insights on the passage of time, the power of familiarity with place and the idea of self-sufficiency hidden among all the vodka and Nietzsche.
Diane S ☔
Aug 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Living for six months. alone in an isolated cabin in the Siberian Taiga, not sure of the location or the intense cold but living and being alone sounds awfully good at times. The author arrives in February and stays until the end of July, so he deals with the intense cold first, but he has brought plenty of supplies, and plenty of reading material. I found is amusing that the only two contemporary authors on his list were James Ellroy and Michael Connelly, he calls them palette cleansers.

The pro
The potentially fascinating experience of a French dude living as a hermit in the Siberian wilderness, that turns out to be a superficial and inauthentic story due to his pretentious writing style and general snobbery.
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating: 5.00
Saar The Book owl
This was a book that you couldn''t read in one attempt. It took me weeks to finish it, but it wasn't a bad book at all. Just a book with a difficult access.
The author lived for 6 months as a hermit at the Bajkal Lake in Siberia and these are his memoires about his stay in the forest at the Balkan Lake.
It's a mainly philosophivcal book, because of the insights on life. Sometimes the author writes his thoughts down and give you, as the reader, food for thought, which is a surplus for this book.
Dec 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tesson has a desire for freedom and solitude, and decides on a whim to take himself off to the shore of Lake Baikal, to stay in a 3 metre square log cabin, a six day hike from the nearest village. From February to July of that year he inhabits that small cabin, built many years previously by geologists it has a small cast iron stove and very primitive facilities. When he arrives in February he is in the middle of the brutal Siberian winter, and sets about gathering wood to warm the cabin. Each d ...more
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I'm not able to enter properly into the spirit of the book, but personally I would have preferred a stronger accent on the environmental side of the description than the intimate one.
Also I do not understand the surprise and disappointment felt by the author when it arrives the message of the girlfriend when she leaves him. What did he expect?
As stated in the quote at the beginning of the book: "Freedom is always there. Simply pay the price.". Did you wanted six months as a hermit on Bai
'Reasons why I'm living alone in a cabin

I talked too much
I wanted silence
Too behind with my mail and too many people to see
I was jealous of Crusoe
It's better heated than my place in Paris
Tired of running errands
So I can scream and live naked
Because I hate the telephone and traffic noise'

Although I did not especially like Tesson's writing style (somewhat chaotic, too fragmented, a questionable sense of humour at times - though all of this improved the longer he was on the taiga), the subject and
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Tesson travels to Lake Baikal in Siberia to be a hermit, to escape fifteen kinds of ketchup in the supermarket, endless phonecalls and emails, superficial conversations, and deluge of people squished against each other in Paris and other cities.

But I'm skeptical of the Man Alone in Nature and Cities Are Rotten narratives. On the contrary, I think cosmopolitan cultures force people to accept difference and tolerance—as long as they're actually forced to smash up against the other without comforta
Oct 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book should be like catnip to the type of people who have Goodreads accounts. Just look at the cover there, the little illuminated cabin amidst the mountains and the trees.

It certainly is a "good read", something to curl up with through the Winter months. Slightly different to what I was expecting, in that I thought it would be much more about solitude and survivalism, whereas the writer has a better social life than I do, even in isolation is Siberia, with a constant stream of visitors, vo
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tesson is a French travel writer (altho much more than that) and this is the first one of his works to be translated into English. I hope the rest of them will be soon as I would enjoy reading more. Tesson writes about spending six months alone in a cabin in Siberia (although he does occasionally have visitors). I have read quite a few of this type of book - solitude in nature - and this is one of my favorites. Many of them are about spiritual journeys or nature or animals. This one is very well ...more
David Webber
I've read and enjoyed several books on Russian travel, and perhaps have wondered how one would fare spending 6 months in Siberia in a cabin on Lake Baikal - the largest and deepest freshwater lake in the world. (I think I'm secretly fascinated by Russian travel.) The author is definitely a great wordsmith, and portions of this book are fabulously crafted. Reading his descriptions of life at the lake are inspiring. His descriptions of his walks near the lake, and the desolation of the place in th ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
There are books that somehow come to being in your life at just the right time. This was one of those books. It is one of the most inspiring books I've read in a very long time. Tesson writes of his experiences while staying in a cabin in Syberia, on lake Baikal, for half a year. He sees winter and spring. He is alone, and he has books, cigars, vodka, and two dogs for company. This book is about man connecting with nature, connecting with himself, and figuring life out and what it means to be ha ...more
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
There were some beautiful passages, but the pretension is strong with this one.
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most relaxing book I've ever read💜
Olly L-J
'It's good to know that out there, in a forest in the world, there is a cabin where something is possible, something fairly close to the sheer happiness of being alive'

This is a beautiful book.
Accompanied by 70 books, seemingly endless quantities of vodka, and little else, Sylvain Tesson drops all 21st century trappings and lives alone, in a hut, for 6 months in the heart of Siberia and on the shores of Lake Baikal.
While there (February-July) he experiences the brutal Siberian winter, Russian f
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I do like that "Consolations of the Forest" comes in the tradition of Emerson, with Tesson connecting philosophy to nature he becomes tedious quickly. As much as I disliked the narrator, however, I was in love with his descriptions of the nature around him, his interactions with Russians, and his reading list. As much as we all think we could do better than Tesson, I am sure if I had the luxury of his cabin in the wilderness my notes and journal would be full of as much pseudo philosoph ...more
Jim Coughenour
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit I completely enjoyed this book – the solitary meditations of a young man who's decided to spend six months alone in a cabin on the shore of Lake Baikal – even though "alone" is a bit of a stretch. First there are a couple Siberian pups to keep him company, full of pep and charm. Then there are about 20 other visitors who come and go. The pattern is appealing: Tesson spends a day or two by himself reading books, making notes, catching char, climbing mountains or journeying up and down ...more
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sylvain Tesson spends February through July in a cabin on Lake Baikal. Accompanied by books, a lot of vodka, and eventually two dogs, he comments in his daily journal on isolation, Russia and the events of his life. We find out (p.194) that there is a woman behind some of his motives ["To be thirty-eight years old and here, by a lake, crawling and asking a dog why women go away."] but that only detracts a little from his observations which are as wide-ranging as his reading (book list on p.16). ...more
Jan 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable. But a book that would obviously divide opinion. I mentioned I was reading this to a group of colleagues, the majority of whom couldn't understand why on earth either someone would do this (at length) or why you'd read about it.

Nice to be challenged, and easy to say that the idea is interesting, what would you do? Would you go mad? Find new levels of calm and peace? Learn more when not on facebook? Tesson's six months on the banks of Lake Baikal are interesting reading - he never quite
I’m extremely grateful to Rizzoli Ex Libris for allowing me to read this book for free.

Here is the blurb I wrote for Bloggers Recommend:
This book is to be savored word by word. It is the diary of a man who spent six months by himself in a cabin on a Siberian lake. It contains beautiful and very evocative descriptions on the landscape, on solitude, on life, and on his numerous readings

The Consolations of the Forest has to be my most favorite nonfiction book of the year so far. I totally fell unde
Chris Chapman
He should cut out some of the facile and repetitive philosophising. But having said that, the subject matter is absolutely fascinating. He is clearly fearless, and it's not macho exaggeration - after writing the book he had a very serious accident while climbing and had to reassess his attitude to risk. The result is a kind of vicarious pleasure in finding out what it might be like to live on the edge - which of course most of us dream of doing - without actually having to do it.

I loved the ide
Vic Van
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is an absolute highlight in the list of books that I have read so far. It holds so much truth, so many meaningful thoughts and reflections on life, on society, on consumerism, and on the power of nature. Think 'Into the Wild', but involving an adult writer, used to living in the wild, experienced and knowledgeable, and better prepared for the hardships of a solitary life.
The only aspect of his life on the banks of Lake Baikal that annoyed me a little was his tendency to drink too much
Alex Storer
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A stunning and moving account of self-inflicted isolation in the beautiful Russian landscape. Full of thoughtful philosophy and outlooks on life, Sylvain Tesson's original French diaries have been meticulously translated into this absolute gem of a book. You'll laugh, cry, ponder questions and nod in agreement to all parts of this book. Anybody sick of the constant rush of city life or the relentless presence of phones and the internet will be in their element reading this; a true escape in many ...more
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A bit too romantic at times, but very relaxing.
I was eager to read this book as if it were written by my close relative, because I too am under the spell of lake Baikal and Siberia. Nostalgia drew me to the book, but I did not quite fall in love.

There are several layers in the book. First, there is that wonderlust, the beauty of the Baikal travel experience or in Tesson’s words, la joie du lieu, which is conveyed very well. The visual descriptions of nature and forest life in the book are very detailed, and that part was the most enjoyable f
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Sylvain Tesson est le fils de Marie-Claude et Philippe Tesson et le frère de la comédienne Stéphanie Tesson et de la journaliste d'art Daphné Tesson.

Géographe de formation, il effectue en 1993 un tour du monde à bicyclette avec Alexandre Poussin avec qui il traverse l'Himalaya à pied en 1997. Il traverse également les steppes d'Asie centrale à cheval avec la photographe et compagne Priscilla Telmo

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