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Dersu Uzala (Prin taigaua Extremului Orient #2)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  465 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
The Russian explorer V. K. Arseniev received a hero's welcome when he returned to Moscow from the Far East in 1906, having mapped the unknown corner of Siberia just above what is now North Korea and just east of Manchuria. He could not have done this work alone, Arseniev protested, and the real hero was an indigene who befriended his party. Arseniev then wrote a remarkable ...more
333 pages
Published 1990 by Raduga (first published 1923)
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Sep 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012

Get out your man card and start punching:

- go on an expedition to the wildest Siberian forest: Check!
- go hunting for black bear by yourself: Check!
- come face to face with a Siberian tiger without your rifle at hand: Check!
- survive in the middle of a forest fire: Check!
- survive a flash flood after torrential rains: Check!
- survive a three day winter blizzard up in the Sikhote-Alin mountains: Check!
- eat boiled leather from the expedition harnesses: Check!
- get pestered by clouds of murderous
Katya Reimann
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an extraordinary book. A 'classic,' in Russia, but... really a classic by any measure. Akira Kurasawa was inspired by this book to make his Oscar-winning movie Dersu Uzala, (1975), George Lukas was inspired by the syntax Arseniev puts in Dersu's mouth to create his character Yoda. The recent bestseller Tiger, (2010) by John Valliant, (also a lovely book) clearly takes its inspiration from Arseniev.

There's a wonderful page up by Chad Garcia, titled "Watching Dersu Uzala," which describes
Nov 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great historical travelogue, a well born Russian officer exploring far eastern Siberia with a guide named Dersu. The area they are in is basically the part of Russia that is right next to China and Korea, the bit that's so far from Russia that it's really kinda crazy that it's even part of Russia, but it is. They get caught in blizzards and have run-ins with Siberian tigers and navigate icy rivers. Some of the first two expeditions drag a bit because Arseniev has this need to mention e ...more
Bryn Hammond
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-taiga
I want to note the unobtrusive personality of the Russian officer, who tells us about the Gold he so admires and not about himself. He expresses freely that he feels like a child in Dersu's hands whenever the taiga turns frightening. He learns from him like a child, too, as Dersu laments the onset of the end for the taiga as she was. Expect to be saddened, but you're with a likeable guy who cares about what he sees and hasn't a macho bone in his body.

More by luck than judgement I read this alon
Dec 23, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this memoir of Siberian exploration because of Akira Kurosawa's superb film "Dersu Usala" which was based on it. Evidently it is or was a pretty well known book in Russia, but it reads exactly like a tale of adventure and discovery from a century earlier in the United States. It's a lot like reading about the Lewis & Clark expedition except that the explorers feel no shame in acknowledging how much the native saved their asses. V.K. Arseniev considered himself great friends with his G ...more
Mar 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book and this film about the Russian Far East. Dersu is a member of the Gold tribe--a tribe of hunters of the Russian Far East. He becomes a tracker for the legendary, but also real, explorer V.K. Arsenyev. The encounters with tigers, seals, and just Arsenyev's encyclopedic knowledge of flora and fauna makes this a great story about nature, about friendship, and about what is lost when progress takes over. The book is a classic and deserves to be rediscovered and Dersu is a true hero ...more
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has been described as the Russian counterpart to [The Journals of Lewis and Clark], presumptuous, yet a helpful quick analogy for Americans.  Arseniev was a Russian cartographer who undertook several expeditions in Siberia.  His task was to map the territory and he also describes the plant and animal life of the area, as well as the people.  This area is partially bordered by China, Korea and the Sea of Japan.

Dersu Uzala is a Nanai, called by the Russians Goldis, the indigenous people
This book is a chronicling of the Ussuri Tiaga in east Russia of a surveyor for the railroad.
Much like in Dances with Wolves, the author, Arseniev has a wish to see the Taiga before it completely disappears as civilization advances. The three journeys he takes occur in the early 1900's
and include his exploits with a Taiga dweller known as Dersu. Dersu is a master at tracking animals, reading the weather and surviving in the the harshest of conditions. Her befriends Arseniev in the first expediti
Aug 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An account of surveying expeditions sounds like dry reading but this definitely was not the case with this book. V. K. Arseniev wrote about several of his expeditions to the far eastern reaches of Russia in the early 1900's with a balanced mix of descriptions of the flora and fauna of the region and the adventure of the trek. At one point he and his men meet Dersu, a native of the area, who truly spent his life living off the land. Dersu could read the terrain and the weather like others could r ...more
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I stayed up late reading this tender, touching, beautiful and sad classic memoir. The character of Dersu Uzala is a composite, according to the introduction, yet he is based on real people and is lovingly and beautifully portrayed, leaves a stamp on the imagination and made me want to go camping again! Written in the 19th C. and already, the essence of this book is Arsenyev's nostalgia and his loving wish to record for posterity this beautiful possibility -- a way of life, in harmony with the el ...more
Mark Isaak
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly a naturalist's travelogue through east Russian taiga around 1900, this book reminds me of Wallace's _The Malay Archipelago_ with snow and ice. More significantly, it also has the character of Dersu, a native of the area who grew up fending for himself in the wilds. Much of the attraction of this book lies in descriptions of how Dersu reads the clues of the trail, the animals, and the weather, not merely with experience, but often with the logical inference one might expect from Sherlock H ...more
Mar 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memorias, aventura
La taiga es una region inhospita de la parte oriental de Rusia, para muchos occidentales es una region desierta. Dersu es un cazador de la taiga, acostumbrado a dormir en el lugar donde cae la noche, con una sagacidad del terreno y la vida salvaje. Vladimir Arseniev recorre la taiga, los rios, las montañas, llevando un diario y haciendo trabajo cartografico, en su camino conoce a Dersu que se hace su amigo, una amistad que durara muchos años y varias jornadas en esta zona salvaje pero hermosa.
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arsenyev's work is a hidden jewel in Russian literature with it's simple yet poetic depiction of the immense grandeur of nature, perilous yet humbling adventuring and relationship with an expectational character of endearing inconsistencies and a gorgeous world view.
The reports into the landscapes and many numerous native and migrated peoples of the Ussurian Taiga are truly spectacular crossing many languages, races and cultures.
Luiz Santiago
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Um dos melhores livros que tive a oportunidade de ler este ano. Desde o início o leitor fica preso à narrativa, que além de nos relembrar um bocado de geografia daquela porção da Ásia, nos faz pensar a natureza de modo muito diferente. O final é igualmente poderoso. Esta é uma bela história de amizade para se reler de tempos em tempos.
Dec 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't give books five stars very often, but this was an exception. I can't say that this book was the most exciting, or dramatic book I have ever read, but I can say that I looked forward to reading it every morning. I think it might be one of the most enjoyable books I have ever read.
Aug 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was another Book on Tape for the Pasadena-Pomona commute. It's a nonfiction account of a Russian surveyor's friendship with a Siberian trapper in the early 1900's. It has been made into a film of the same name. It's a good story about wilderness survival skills.
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an important book. And not because it inspired George Lucas' characterization of Yoda, or because Kirosawa's film version inspired elements in the SW films. As a Star Wars fan, I chalk that up to happy coincidence.
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful and unique wilderness story... definitely a classic for any nature or anthropology lover. I enjoyed my time on the tiaga with the Captain and Dersu.
Ian Perkins
Oct 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting tale with insights into a very different way of life.
Balint Kaman
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
simply the best book i have ever read.
Sarah Connor
Jan 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finished this book today, and the last chapter made me cry, I'm such a crybaby... even when I'd already seen the Russian film, and the Kurosawa version, I cried, sitting on a bus. Yep.
David Veneziano
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An awesome bromance set in the late 1800s of South East Russia. I can't wait to watch the Akira Kurosawa movie again.
Patrick Mcfate
Sep 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was turned into a really great movie in the '70s. The edition Courtney bought me is leather, with nice little sketches througout.
Aug 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply one of my favorite books of all time.
Peter Meerem
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful insight in early exploration of the Russian North-East.
Nathan Shaw
Nearly as good as the film.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lee Broderick
This book dropped over my cultural horizon some time in 2013. Somehow, I learned that Akira Kurosawa, possibly my favourite film director, had won an Oscar for a film I'd never heard of. So I watched it. I thought it was a very affecting film and then learned that Dersu Uzala was based on a book of the same name. Well.. Anyone that follows my reviews on here will know that I don't generally read and watch the same material but this isn't fiction, so does that count? Learning that the book is reg ...more
Mar 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 4.5

A very enjoyable read. Kudos to both the author and the translator. The author had a great eye for detail and beauty; sunsets, clouds, foam on the lake, birds. He knew how to contrast the taiga to life elsewhere, drawing out the unique details. The translator made the English feel like the language the book was written in.

The book is so aptly named. The author could have called the book so many other things indicative of his travels. But Dersu is the center of all of them. The kinship of D
Owen Curtsinger
I first picked up this book after reading John Vaillant's thrilling book The Tiger, about a man-eating tiger in the taiga of Ussuria. I had also seen Kurosawa's film Dersu Uzala, and always thought that it was his oddest film but admittedly one of my favorites outside of his samurai classics. This book is a fairly interesting read, but not as engaging as I had hoped. As the narrative is in its essence the chronicle of a surveying expedition, it tends to get bogged down by repetition of which mou ...more
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Vladimir Klavdiyevich Arsenyev (Russian: Владимир Клавдиевич Арсеньев) (10 September 1872 – 4 September 1930) was a Russian explorer of the Far East who recounted his travels in a series of books - "По Уссурийскому Краю" ("Along the Ussury land") (1921) and "Дерсу Узала" ("Dersu Uzala") (1923) - telling of his military journeys to the Ussuri basin with Dersu Uzala, a native hunter, from 1902 to 19 ...more
More about Vladimir Arsenyev...

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Prin taigaua Extremului Orient (2 books)
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