To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia's Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny Paperback – September 13, 2007
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Jeffrey Tayler ("Siberian Dawn," "Angry Wind"), a linguist who speaks Russian, Arabic, French, Greek and several other languages, writes about remote and difficult places - the Sahara, the Congo, Siberia. His previous trip to Siberia was in winter, when he traveled on the frozen Lena River by truck.
This time he goes in summer by inflatable raft down the same river, retracing some 2,400 miles of Cossack exploration, from Lake Baikal to Tiksi on the Arctic Ocean, 450 miles above the Arctic Circle. Tiksi is the sort of place where the deluxe hotel suite does not come with hot water in the "warm" months, the months of "rain and snow, not just snow."
The trip grew out of a desire to clear his head of city clamor and explore the lives of real Russians - the impoverished rural masses. Having lived in Russia for 11 years, made a life and married, Tayler, an American, finds himself despairing of the place. The collapse of communism seems only to have opened the doors to corruption and chaos. "I was seized by a desire to find out what had gone wrong? Had I really devoted my life to a doomed land?"
His guide is the misanthropic Vadim, a Muscovite and Afghan War veteran who drives a truck and spends every summer in the North. He would prefer his beloved Siberia without people and his disdain for Tayler's insistence on stopping at each down-at-heels village to talk with the inhabitants only grows with time.Read more ›
The Lena River is in Siberia, with its headwaters near Lake Baikal, and it flows north, to the Arctic Ocean. Tayler travelled almost all of it, some 2,400 miles, from Ust Kut to Tiksi on the Laptev Sea, a portion of the Arctic Ocean. Naturally his journey was in the summer, or what passes for it in the Arctic region, and on occasions it was hot, with temperatures above 90 F. Though contacts, Tayler made arrangements for Vadim to be his guide. Vadim is the Russian equivalent of a "troubled-Vietnam-War-veteran," with his "Vietnam" being, of course, Afghanistan.Read more ›
Taylor has a sharp eye also for the various ethnic types who've made their way up there: exiled Polish gentry from two centuries back, for example, have led to beautiful young women with "aristocratic" faces. Volga Germans, exiled by cattle car in 1941, still run their farms with an admirable efficiency and cleanliness, with animals penned in and no litter, as opposed to the semi-abandoned Russian farms on the opposite side of the Lena river. Yakuts and other natives, once nomads, now settled into small towns, are mixed with the locals. All seem to have a love of cigarettes and alcohol regardless of racial origin, which destroys the young people's health, teeth, skin and handsome features quickly; people tell him that at 22, they're "old"; teens are "the young". Professionals from the poor parts of former Soviet regime, e.g. Bishkek in Kurgistan, see opportunities, and move to Siberia for better wages, sending all possible saving home for their children's educations.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My library bought this at my request. I love any travel story from Siberia. I agree with the reviewer who said that this is really two stories, that of the sometimes arduous... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Sehome
It was an interesting read about a region of the world that I knew very little of.Published 4 months ago by NE Jon
I have a confession to make: this is not the first Tayler book I have read. And it won't be the last. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Nicholas Robinson
An incredible adventure exposing a world of people that have been forgotten by their government and left alone in a wilderness of despair. A must read. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Wayne piper
Although Jeffrey Tayler paints a vivid portrait of the challenging terrain and geography that he passes through, his true skill is in getting people to talk about themselves and... Read morePublished 18 months ago by Brian Gerk
For those who ever wonder what the life and scape of the rural Russia is like. I feel that the style falls a little but the subject is fascinating and doe not necessarily require a... Read morePublished on November 18, 2013 by Milo Minderbinder
I've enjoyed several of Mr. Tayler's books ... more, actually than River of No Reprieve. For some reason, his writing in this book seemed ponderous and excessively flowery ... Read morePublished on March 10, 2011 by Maria Bettina