Strange Telescopes: Following the Apocalypse from Moscow to Siberia: Following the Apocalypse from Moscow to Siberia

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Overview

A mind-bending voyage into the underground realms of Russia and beyond by the author of Lost Cosmonaut.

When Daniel Kalder descended into the sewers of Moscow in pursuit of the mythical lost city of tramps, he didn't realize that he was embarking on a bizarre, year-long odyssey that would lead him thousands of miles across Russia to the Arctic Circle via the heart of Asia. After exploring the depths of Moscow's "Underground Planet," Kalder journeyed to the Ukraine to chase down ...

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Strange Telescopes: Following the Apocalypse from Moscow to Siberia

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Overview

A mind-bending voyage into the underground realms of Russia and beyond by the author of Lost Cosmonaut.

When Daniel Kalder descended into the sewers of Moscow in pursuit of the mythical lost city of tramps, he didn't realize that he was embarking on a bizarre, year-long odyssey that would lead him thousands of miles across Russia to the Arctic Circle via the heart of Asia. After exploring the depths of Moscow's "Underground Planet," Kalder journeyed to the Ukraine to chase down demons and exorcists in the dubious afterglow of the Orange Revolution, before meeting a man called Vissarion Christ-a one-time traffic cop, he is now messiah to thousands of followers in Siberia. Salvation and damnation collide as Daniel Kalder expertly guides us through this unique account of a modern day quest that reveals the astonishing lengths people will go to when they view the world through a "strange telescope."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Like his first book, Lost Cosmonaut, this travelogue trips through the dark side of the former Soviet Union, finding curious societies and characters everywhere. Intrigued by a story about a Moscow group called "the Diggers," who live in a sub-city network of tunnels and secret bunkers, Kalder (a Scotsman who lived in the former S.U. for 10 years) decided to track them down; the "anti-climactic" endeavor found the Diggers hanging out in the underground maze, but living terrestrially. Inspired anyhow, Kalder decides to penetrate the "massed army of dreamers, artists, hippies and musicians that arose after perestroika." His next foray takes him to witness exorcisms "where the reality of demons was already beyond dispute," in the company of an independent film maker who is himself obsessed with Satanism. Back in Moscow, Kalder's drawn to a group leading "almost heroic" lives of discipline and self-sufficiency on a commune, led by the "Jesus of Siberia." He also pursues an odd man with an unfinished monument to freedom, who claims responsibility for inventing perestroika. Calling his trek a "metaphysical-existential-cosmic quest," Kalder can be terminally chatty and unfocused, but provides rare glimpses into the odd afterlife of a collapsed superpower.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Scottish writer Kalder (Lost Cosmonaut: Observations of an Anti-Tourist, 2006, etc.) offers tales of weird, occult doings in the land of Rasputin. Unless you're a longtime reader of Outside-in which Erin Arvedlund did a more economical job of telling the same story-you might not know that the sewers of Moscow, Russia, are home to an odd tribe of postmodern bohemian intellectuals who, tired of the impossibility of utopias aboveground, are trying their hands at creating a paradise below. Some of the subterraneans are more normal than others, relatively speaking, but it's no easy matter to distinguish those who have lost their marbles and claim to work directly for Vladimir Putin via secret telephone from those who truly do work for Putin via secret telephone ("That connects me directly to the Ministry of Emergency Situations!"). Whatever their motivations and connections, the Diggers, as they're known, have made a wondrous city beneath the city, a world into which Kalder guides readers. Meanwhile, aboveground, he writes, psychics and clergy are doing a land-office business conducting exorcisms "with the same frequency that plumbers patched up the pipes in the crumbling tower blocks of the former Soviet Union." One such exorcist divides his time between the underground and the surface world, and Kalder accompanies him on his chases after Satan, "catastrophe surfing" in the quieter corners of the erstwhile Evil Empire. In Siberia, a former traffic cop has concocted a millenarian sci-fi cult that makes cousins such as Scientology look rational. According to them, God is "a light that doesn't burn, which is cold and white and tender and gentle." Naturally enough, subterraneans and exorcistsfigure in it. A tangled travelogue that lacks much of a thesis beyond the unstated one that the world is a strange place. Too long by a quarter, the narrative frequently drags but is often a hoot to read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590202265
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press
  • Publication date: 5/14/2009
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Kalder was born in Scotland in 1974. He lived in the former Soviet Union for ten years, applying himself to various trades, although he never sold arms or human organs. The author of the acclaimed Lost Cosmonaut, he now lives in Austin, Texas.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2013

    To the tom

    Get away from night!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2013

    A tom

    U cant run... scratched her flank slloowwllyy.....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2013

    Skybreeze

    She broke free I care about you she licked him i have the same story and i know how it feels but this doesnt mean you should treat me like this she gave large eagle and looked at him in pain

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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