River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia's Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny

River of No Reprieve Descending Siberia s Waterway of Exile Death and Destiny One of today s most intrepid writers chronicles a deadly trek through the legendary region that gave birth to the gulag and gave Siberia its outsize reputation for perilous isolation In a custom built

  • Title: River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia's Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny
  • Author: Jeffrey Tayler
  • ISBN: 9780618539093
  • Page: 403
  • Format: Hardcover
  • One of today s most intrepid writers chronicles a deadly trek through the legendary region that gave birth to the gulag and gave Siberia its outsize reputation for perilous isolation.In a custom built boat, Jeffrey Tayler travels some 2,400 miles down the Lena River from near Lake Baikal to high above the Arctic Circle, recreating a journey first made by Cossack forces morOne of today s most intrepid writers chronicles a deadly trek through the legendary region that gave birth to the gulag and gave Siberia its outsize reputation for perilous isolation.In a custom built boat, Jeffrey Tayler travels some 2,400 miles down the Lena River from near Lake Baikal to high above the Arctic Circle, recreating a journey first made by Cossack forces than three hundred years ago He is searching for primeval beauty and a respite from the corruption, violence, and self destructive urges that typify modern Russian culture, but instead he finds the roots of that culture in Cossack villages unchanged for centuries, in Soviet outposts full of listless drunks, in stark ruins of the gulag, and in grand forests hundreds of miles from the nearest hamlet.That s how far Tayler is from help when he realizes that his guide, Vadim, a burly Soviet army veteran embittered by his experiences in Afghanistan, detests all humanity, including Tayler Yet he needs Vadim s superb skills if he is to survive a voyage that quickly turns hellish They must navigate roiling whitewater in howling storms, but they eschew life jackets because, as Vadim explains, the frigid water would kill them before they could swim to shore Though Tayler has trekked by camel through the Sahara and canoed down the Congo during the revolt against Mobutu, he has never felt so threatened as he does now.

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      Published :2020-03-08T23:09:16+00:00

    2 thoughts on “River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia's Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny

    1. Jeffrey Tayler is a U.S born author and journalist He is the Russia correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a contributor to several other magazines as well as to NPR s All Things Considered He has written several non fiction books about different regions of the world which include Facing the Congo, Siberian Dawn, Glory in a Camel s Eye, and Angry Wind, the latter being a portrait of a journey through the Muslim portion of black Africa His most recent book, River of No Reprieve, is about a challenging raft trip down Russia s Lena River.Tayler is an accomplished linguist in addition to his native English, he is fluent in Russian, Arabic, French, and modern Greek, and has a functioning knowledge of Spanish and Turkish.

    2. This was a very good first person adventure about travel in a motorized inflatable raft up the Lena river in Siberia. What made this book so interesting is Tayler's multilingualism and his interest in history and Russian politics. He visits many small dying towns along the river and speaks with members of minority cultures and people that the new Soviet system have left behind. The boating was interesting but, until he enters the Arctic Circle, it was not particularly adventurous so he rightly f [...]

    3. Quite an enjoyable and informative book about a remarkable journey down Siberia's river Lena. Down in the sense of going downstream, perhaps 'up' in the sense that the journey is south to north.More important Jeffrey Tayler brings his unique insight as an American resident of Russia (Moscow area) to the historical stories of this area. Like his earlier work Siberian Dawn, it is as much focused on the trials and daily challenges of people as his own challenges from the journey. The people in this [...]

    4. A journey that is harrowing, funny, sinister, exasperating and revealing, all at once. The poverty-stricken, muddy and alcohol soaked villages along the Lena were depressing to both the author and this reader, but there were also some remarkable characters - some for their delusionals about Russia's history, some for their very dated magical thinking. The atmosphere in the villages is of nearly complete isolation from modern life in the outside world and a profound lack of dreams. It's as if we' [...]

    5. Adventure book with a heavy dose of Siberian history - worthy read to feed my fascination with the Russian nation. From the brutal Cossack's founding of settlements along the north flowing Lena during the 17th century to the brutal post-perestroika reality Jeffrey found on his perilous river epic during 2004. A bleak land, soaked in alcohol, with a bleak future (low birth rate, declining life expectancy, etc.). No doubt an environment best left to nature. After reading Kotkin's 'Stalin - Vol. II [...]

    6. I loved this book! It made me want to get out and go on adventure. The author travels the length of the 10th longest river in the world and details his experience. He talks about meeting isolated populations of native people and Russian immigrants as well as discussing the history of eastern Russia. His descriptions of the river and the people are vivid, I had a hard time putting this book down.I recently read this for a second time and it was still a page turner. I found his descriptions of the [...]

    7. The Lena River, most of it miles wide, is one of the world's longest. This tale is of two men who want to travel 2400 miles of it together in a rubber raft, heading toward Tiksi, an outpost on the arctic Laptev Sea. One of the travelers is a Russian army veteran--a true outdoorsman; the other, the author, is an American adventurer and journalist living in Russia. Unseasonable storms spell danger. Before their trip ends, the author visits the mostly decaying Siberian settlements along the way and [...]

    8. I loved this book. Maybe it's a sign that I'm getting older, but I never thought that I'd be into stories about guys traveling into the wilds of the north. And by "north" I mean way beyond the arctic circle. Maybe it's because I'm a slavophile. Whatever the reason, and even though I didn't agree with the small political quips of the author, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

    9. The author presented a very clear view of life along the Lena River. Siberia has long been a source of facination for me and this portrayal of the people who inhabit the desolate villages is something I won’t forget. The basis for this adventure is the land and seascape but as harsh and intriguing as the environment is, the people are what I’ll most remember about this book

    10. This was not only an exciting account of Jeffrey Tayler's 2400 mile journey down the Lena River to high above the Artic Circle in a custom-built boat with Vadim, a Soviet army veteran, but we are introduced to people who live in isolation along the river. We also learn a lot about Russian history.

    11. I want to read more books like this. Tayler writes with such immediacy of presence, one travels with him rather than after him. Well done, highly recommended.

    12. I'm not sure if I didn't like this book because the writing was weak or because there wasn't one ounce of resolution. I do appreciate its examination of the after math of Soviet Russia.

    13. Great narrative tone: both honest and sympathetic to others yet he offers the occassional sardonic zinger. Contains lyrical pasages on landscape as well as intersting cultural asides.

    14. A decent read, but not one I'd recommend. Not quite an adventure tale, not quite historical. Would have been better if I'd known more Russian.

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