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Lost in the Taiga: One Russian Family's Fifty-Year Struggle for Survival and Religious Freedom in the Siberian Wilderness Hardcover – June 1, 1994

4.8 out of 5 stars 28 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Communicants of the Old Believers persuasion--a Russian Orthodox sect dating from the mid-l7th century--the Lykov family lived so removed from the world in the Siberian taiga that only in 1978, when a party of geologists happened upon them, was their self-imposed isolation, going back to the early days of Stalinism, shattered. By the time Peskov, a Moscow journalist, made their acquaintance in 1982 on the first of what would become annual visits, only 37-year-old Agafia and her 81-year-old father Karp were still alive. Karp's sons, 54-year-old Savin and 38-year-old Dmitry, and his 44-year-old daughter Natalia all died in 1981, his wife in 1961. The story of how the Lykovs had provided for themselves, then accommodated to the incursions of the modern age is an amazing, poignant drama that Peskov reconstructs with delicacy and respect. The gift-bearing world that knocked on their door was welcome company, even as Karp and Agafia resisted efforts to return them to materialistic society. They gratefully accepted presents that eased their taxing self-sufficiency, like goats, chickens and proper footwear, but rejected such products as canned food: "We are not allowed that." The Lykovs expressed their thanks by reciprocating with gifts of pine nuts and potatoes. When Agafia journeys to newfound relatives for a month's visit, readers are perplexed with mixed emotions, at once hoping and fearing that she'll be enticed by the conveniences she's introduced to, like train travel, shops, electricity. And we are even more torn when she determines to stay on alone in her taiga fastness after her 87-year-old father dies. Photos not seen by PW . Film rights to Jean-Jacques Annaud.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Russian journalist Peskov here expands his Komsomolskaia Pravda reports of a family of Old Believers-members of a fundamentalist sect that seceded from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17th century-who moved to the remote Siberian forests in 1932 to escape the modern world. It may be difficult for readers without a background in Russian history to appreciate this book. Though a cursory explanation is given of the Great Schism in the church, additional information about the Old Believers would have been useful. The sequence is problematic, the style can be awkward and repetitive, and using footnotes to clarify the Russian words dispersed throughout the text would have been helpful. Nevertheless, the Lykovs' story is memorable and should appeal to anyone interested in wilderness survival and in lives governed by faith. Although the "discovery" of the Lykovs inspired international interest and assistance, in 1991 the surviving daughter, Agafia, was still determined to remain in the taiga rather than accept invitations to live "in the world." This book was a best seller in France, and film rights have been purchased by Jacques Arnaud. Libraries with Soviet/Russian collections should purchase, and public libraries should consider.
--Donna L. Cole, Leeds P.L., Ala.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
  • Hardcover : 254 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0385472099
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0385472098
  • Dimensions : 6.5 x 0.75 x 9.25 inches
  • Publisher : Doubleday; Reprint edition (June 1, 1994)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 28 ratings

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great but unexplainable very expensive
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