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Through Siberia by Accident

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  132 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Through Siberia by Accident is an account of a journey that didn’t happen—and what happened instead. While still thousands of miles from her original destination, Ussuriland in the Russian Far East, Dervla Murphy found herself stymied by multiple minor injuries. This book is an extraordinary story of fortitude and resourcefulness as Murphy finds friendship and culture in o ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by John Murray (first published 2005)
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Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Best book on Russians EVER!!!

Strongly recommend to anyone interested in Russia/Russians. I am Russian. And I am all ears when it comes to foreigners trying to explore and explain the essence of this enormous country and its controversial folk. That is why I try not to miss such kinds of books. Mostly what I fish out is just a crusade for confirmation of deep rooted stereotypes/myths or very shallow account a-la Marco Polo.

I must say this book is a precious exception. With surprising astuteness s
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it
not sure exactly how full of shit this lady is, but very enjoyable travelogue of her journey to Siberia to ride her bike and take a big bike tour. but then she injured her knee and such so got way sidetracked on the bike portion, but did travel around and stay are various and sundry places centered roughly around lake Baikal. she seems pretty snappy this old Irish lady. i want to read her book about biking in south Africa now. and she really likes beer.
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Caroline by: Denniz Pez
Shelves: world
This is a book about a trip that didn’t happen. Dervla, queen of the world's class-B roads, was due to cycle her way across part of Siberia, but then right at the start of her journey she hurt her knee. So, instead of cycling, she took to BAM – The Baikal-Amur Mainline railway – and explored those bits of Siberia around Lake Baikal and the lower reaches of the River Lena instead.

Dervla is the sort of woman you must refer to by christian rather than surname, she is so down to earth and gutsy. The
Peter Perhac
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, favorites, travel
I had a suspicion I found my favorite travel writer when I first read "Full Tilt" by Dervla. This was the next book I picked up and was amazed by it in the beginning. I can imagine not everyone would enjoy this book as I did and I don't say it's a must-read for everyone. Not to get your hopes up, I only gave it four stars, so you don't expect too much from it. However, for me, personally, this was such an extremely interesting read, it's going on my favorites shelf.

Dervla is in her 70's and due
May 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
I was disappointed from this book .I was looking forward to get to know the places and the people she met ,instead the book was full of data . I liked her early books as the historical or informative date was kept less then the travel experience . Maybe Dervla or the editor thought there was not enough material for a book and all this information was showed in . Of course at some point I started skipping them frustrated as if I wanted to read the history of the place would have preferred another ...more
Dec 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Some of Dervla Murphy's travel anecdotes reinforce stereotypes - bleak urban landscapes, say, or endless tracts of irreparably polluted land, yet others break them down - the book is nothing if not a showcase of Siberian hospitality toward strangers, and her descriptions of the immense variability and beauty of the landscape shattered my notions of a dreary, Siberian monotony. Ms. Murphy also manages to effectively intersperse fascinating tidbits of Russian/Siberian history throughout. In sum, T ...more
Wieke Van Der Kroef
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Fun, easy read. For me a good example of how to take life as it comes, instead of forcing your way. Also a good 'how to travel slow & really get to know a place'.

Not very useful for anyone else as a guidebook, as the author has some privileges like being a well-known author an having Russian connections (even if it is just a few).
I like Dervla Murphy. In this trip to Siberia, she has an accident that makes continuing in her regular fashion by bicycle impossible. Instead she meets lots of people and takes the train and the bus and the ferry around part of Siberia – a lot of it near Lake Baikal. I was particularly fond of her descriptions of travel by BAM, a sort of off shoot of the better known Trans Siberian Railway. I loved the description of her experiences on and around Lake Baikal. The environmental issues are concer ...more
I read Murphy's first travel book Full Tilt - about her bike trip through Afghanistan, Pakistan and India and it was awkward and charming. Written as a diary, it focused on the mundane details of her daily struggles and also the joys of bike travel.
This book is written at a much later date and sets out to provide too much historical and contextual information about Siberia and the Russian far east. Instead of making a richer text, it only bogs itself down and makes for a much less enjoyable rea
Nov 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
this great octogenerian, an Irish Lady who travels to remote places of the globe by bicycle or on foot, is so entertaining and fun to see the world through her eyes. This is my first of her books, but I hope to read more. She is also deeply concerned about saving the environment. She is indomitable and her books are a great gift to those of us who don't have her ability or courage to see first hand for themselves how our world is developing and our need to converve and protect its resources. I s ...more
Ruth Downie
Dervla Murphy was 73 when she travelled to Russia and bought a bike, expecting to make a long lone cycle ride. Her plans were wrecked by injury and "Pushkin" (the bike) saw hardly any use at all. Instead, she discovered the warmth of Siberian hospitality. The result is an account of scenery, history, lots of food, lots of beer and frank conversations with ordinary people who lived through events that most of us only see on the news bulletins. Fascinating, inspiring and humbling.
Aug 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
I read half way through this book and then read the last pages. I saw no changes in the book from beginning to end. Dervla continues to travel through Siberia meeting and eating the food of wonderfully generous natives. The descriptions were all very much surface, lacking depth exploration of personalities met. I had a very hard time maintaining interest. I have to admit that I learned a very different view of Siberia than I held previously, but half the book did it for me.
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
I've wanted to see Siberia for decades. Now that I've seen it through the author's eyes, I don't think I'll ever go. It would break my heart. I would like to experience the people, though. Murphy's descriptions were honest and sincere, wry, yet understanding of the many challenges the Siberians have overcome foe centuries and will have to face in the future. I learned so much from this book; will seek out others by this author.
May 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
Travel writing is about people's lives and situations. Here Murphy delves into the history of Siberia in this very disjointed book, which I found much less interesting than her 'pure' travel writing. She is as critical of the systems but remains sentimental about Russia. Maybe worth a read if you are interested in the area, but be prepared to be frustrated by her commentary.
Dec 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
(4.5) I like this lady. Although I was kind of horrified by her choice of supplies for a multi-day train trip - tea bags and a kilo of nuts and sultanas. (I can't tell whether she appreciates or disapproves of the lavish quantities of Siberian food her hosts press on her later. Probably both.)
Jenny Schwartz
Nov 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
A foreign babushka's travels through Siberia. A pleasant book about the people she meets, some recent history/current affairs and the natural world (inc regret at environmental damage). Felt like a ramble by train through Siberia.
Aug 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
Bit heavy going at times with all the Russian/Siberian names but really enjoyed it and learnt some things too!
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Dec 11, 2013
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Nov 14, 2013
Fiona Hurley
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Feb 08, 2012
rated it it was ok
Jul 27, 2011
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Jan 30, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Mar 29, 2013
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Jun 16, 2011
Paul Parmenter
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Dec 08, 2016
Audrey Sarah
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Jan 11, 2017
Pat Dodd Racher
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Mar 19, 2016
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Dervla Murphy is an Irish touring cyclist and author of adventure travel books for over 40 years. She is best known for her 1965 book Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, about an overland cycling trip through Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Murphy is a famous speaker and writer on Palestinian issues. She seeks the dissolution of Israel in its entirety.

Murphy normally travels
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