Small PressThe book is a fascinating introduction to the oral literature of Siberia's diverse people and is recommended to folklorists, cultural historians, and general readers...
Library Journal - Library JournalAnother collection of folk tales from Interlink. The two collections of Siberian folktales in Books in Print are both scholarly and expensive. In his new collection, Riordan provides an extensive ethnographic introduction, a glossary, and a (half-Russian) bibliography but little discussion of the specific tales included and no data on their collection. The tales themselves are polished without being too ``literary.'' There are familiar types (e.g., hero and etiological tales) and themes (e.g., condemnation of human foolishness, greed, and selfishness). Most striking, though, are the qualities that bring these stories to the border of myth: the vividness of the spirit world, pervasive animism, and interaction with divine beings. The extreme physical setting, especially the frozen tundra, adds to the exotic and memorable atmosphere of the book. Even without the high current interest in the USSR and its peoples, this collection is a fascinating cultural resource.-- Patricia Dooley, Univ. of Washington Lib. Sch., Seattle
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