Did you know that within Russia there exists a small republic of Transnistria (it is unrecognised by other countries) whose main product is an exquisite and expensive cognac? Did you know that Lake Baykal (which is bigger than some seas) has a shore with dead bodies of sailors frozen to its rocks? Did you know that vodka can have hallucinogenic effects?
In Jacek Hugo-Bader’s book you will find this and many other incredible but factual stories about different parts of the vast Russian country and its people. That’s why I find the under-title misleading – the book is about so much more than just how to survive the Siberian cold.
The author meets various people on his way across Russia, he drinks with the bums, talks with prostitutes and hears confessions of dead miners’ wives and HIV carriers. He tells a first-hand experience of life in Russia. This is a Michael Palin type of story. If you are interested in how other people live, how they cope and what they think – in this case the different ethnicities and social groups in Russia – it is a must-read for you.
The book is absolutely terrific, I read it in Polish and am so happy it has been translated – I am buying the English version for a friend.