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Extended Audio Sample Travels in Siberia Audiobook, by Ian Frazier Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,560 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ian Frazier Narrator: Ian Frazier Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781427210548
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A Dazzling Russian travelogue from the bestselling author of Great Plains

In Travels in Siberia, Ian Frazier trains his eye for unforgettable detail on Siberia, that vast expanse of Asiatic Russia. He explores many aspects of this storied, often grim region, which takes up one-seventh of the land on earth. He writes about the geography, the resources, the native peoples, the history, the forty-below midwinter afternoons, the bugs.

The book brims with Mongols, half-crazed Orthodox archpriests, fur seekers, ambassadors of the czar bound for Peking, tea caravans, German scientists, American prospectors, intrepid English nurses, and prisoners and exiles of every kind—from Natalie Lopukhin, banished by the czarina for copying her dresses; to the noble Decembrist revolutionaries of the 1820s; to the young men and women of the People's Will movement whose fondest hope was to blow up the czar; to those who met still-ungraspable suffering and death in the Siberian camps during Soviet times.

More than just a historical travelogue, Travels in Siberia is also an account of Russia since the end of the Soviet Union and a personal reflection on the all-around amazingness of Russia, a country that still somehow manages to be funny. Siberian travel books have been popular since the thirteenth century, when monks sent by the pope went east to find the Great Khan and wrote about their journeys. Travels in Siberia will take its place as the twenty-first century's indispensable contribution to the genre.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The audio's 16-hour length feels appropriate, given the time and space needed even to scratch the surface of the vastness of Asiatic Russia. A sprawling, enthusiastic glimpse of a land that is so much more than cold and ice. Library Journal
  • One of the 2010 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Norma | 2/17/2014

    " A very looong book--good one to take with you if you ever finding yourself taking the Trans-Sibedrian Railroad. Interesting tidbits of Siberian history interspersed with the author's travelogue. His travels, while of immense interest to him, reminded me of time spent hearing all about someone else's trip to a place to which you have no interest in ever travelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill&Sue | 1/24/2014

    " Long, but interesting. I loved his winter travel through the land more than his summer travel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nanette Kastner | 1/21/2014

    " This book had a lot of fascinating facts about Russian history, geography and culture. I only gave it four stars because it could have been edited better - there were some glaring grammatical errors and it was too long (some ramblings could have been edited out, especially at the end). The length isn't too big of a deal though, mostly because you can skim paragraphs or take a long break without getting lost or missing something important. I really enjoyed this book - he took more than a decade to write this and his research really made it interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Edward | 1/17/2014

    " Overall, it was a decent read. It's hard to write an uninteresting book about such an interesting and conflicted place. I will agree with some others' reviews noting the fact that "Sandy" tends to be his own wet blanket in a lot of cases. He doesn't come off as a very agreeable traveler. He complains a great deal about smoking, pollution, drinking, and generally enjoying life, in many cases. Ultimately, the subject shines through; his knack for describing the grandeur of Siberia and for capturing both the poetry and discord of travel, along with his affinity for including numerous interesting asides saved the book from being mired in his quirks and priss. Did he, as he claimed, at the reading I attended, to have set out to, create a lasting work marrying Russian and American literature? Probably not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Areedy | 1/12/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book, it might help if you have an interest in Russian culture in general, but it also stands alone as a interesting, engaging travelogue. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine Long | 1/12/2014

    " I loved this book. Ian Frazier is an awesome author- he really knows how to write well and the subject is fascinating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cyril Gleiman | 1/7/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. It transported me to some of the most remote places on earth while riding the train to and from work.. I almost wish I could visit some of these cities and towns on my own. Road trip anyone? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 12/28/2013

    " Listened to this as an audio book. Although he rambles at times, he is a good storyteller. It felt like he needed an editor at times, although on my long trip, I was grateful for all the CDs. The book is really like a history of Russia, structured as a travel book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin Jackson | 12/19/2013

    " Worth reading, but maybe not every page "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nerdymko | 12/11/2013

    " Superb travelogue, because it doesn't just focus on the crazy and adventurous. Sometimes travel can be banal and tedious, and even in these times, the author paints a realistic and inspiring story connecting then and now. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linny | 12/8/2013

    " couldn't get with it, some parts in beginning very interesting "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie Spencer | 12/3/2013

    " You'd probably be better served by reading his series of New Yorker articles on the same subject. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 12/1/2013

    " Beautifully written, and full of really fascinating history. But mostly it just made my heart yearn for Siberia. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 9/21/2013

    " How well written is this? Well, let's just say my new "dream" vacation is a westward trek through Alaska and into far eastern Russia, and all the way to St. Petersburg. Ian Frazier is THAT convincing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt Suder | 8/6/2013

    " I wish I was a travel writer... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shawn | 7/6/2013

    " Slow starting, but once his travels kick in, he paints some great tales of travel through a different world on the same planet. Some amazing people and some amazing stories. Truly an eclectic land and eclectic people. A shame that it is treated so poorly by the government and its own people. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Scott | 4/18/2013

    " Travel books aren't as entertaining when the author is cautious and unfunny. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen Johnson | 4/27/2012

    " This book was not a breeze to get through, much like I imagine a trip through Siberia would be-but I'm very glad that I finished it and I would recommend it as an interesting and unique read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 10/28/2011

    " Slow and a bit dry at times, but very interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dustin | 9/30/2011

    " An enjoyable read with a good mixture of history, trivia, and narrative but actually traveling with this guy sounds like it would be a nightmare. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 7/15/2011

    " If you read Ian Frazier's recent excerpts from this book in the New Yorker, you read the best stuff. Still, his chronicle of traversing the vastness of Russia is really compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debra | 7/3/2011

    " A rambling travel/history of Siberia. I found it fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce | 5/18/2011

    " Ian Frazier at his best -- part history, part travelogue, much adventure and color. I love this book.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katherine | 3/12/2011

    " I loved this book. Ian Frazier is an awesome author- he really knows how to write well and the subject is fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/20/2011

    " Important information related to this title: Stalin's daughter lives in a town less than 2 hrs away from me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 2/19/2011

    " Like living a whole second life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stella Used Books | 2/14/2011

    " Like a very long and very good New Yorker article... funny, fascinating and (usually) well-written. "

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About the Author
Author Ian Frazier

Ian Frazier is the author of Dating Your Mom and Lamentations of the Father, among many others. A frequent contributor to the New Yorker, he lives in Montclair, New Jersey.