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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Barbed Wire & Babushkas

I just finished a really good book called, Barbed Wire & Babushkas, A River Odyssey Across Siberia. The book is written by Paul Grogan and published by Virgin Books. You can easily purchase it at or Barnes & Noble

The book details the kyak trip taken by Grogan and his friend down the length of the Amur River, a journey of nearly 4.400 KM and the first source to sea descent of the river.

The book offers a really interesting view of Russian life and culture from a Westerners point of view. Having lived in Russia for four years now I was entertained by the hilarious descriptions this British author offered of his near 4 month trip. The encounters with Russian people were so much like our day to day life. Stern officialdom and harshness, but once you are past that and get to know people you find that Russians are warm, funny, generous and helpful. Grogan was often surprised and sometimes overwhelmed by his encounters with a myriad of peoples on this trip.

I recommend this book for anyone wanting to gain a bit of insight into Russian life and culture.

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