River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia's Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny

River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia's Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny

by Jeffrey Tayler
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Overview

River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia's Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny by Jeffrey Tayler

One of today's most intrepid writers chronicles a deadly trek through the legendary region that gave birth to the gulag and gave Siberia its outsize reputation for perilous isolation.

In a custom-built boat, Jeffrey Tayler travels some 2,400 miles down the Lena River from near Lake Baikal to high above the Arctic Circle, recreating a journey first made by Cossack forces more than three hundred years ago. He is searching for primeval beauty and a respite from the corruption, violence, and self-destructive urges that typify modern Russian culture, but instead he finds the roots of that culture—in Cossack villages unchanged for centuries, in Soviet outposts full of listless drunks, in stark ruins of the gulag, and in grand forests hundreds of miles from the nearest hamlet.

That’s how far Tayler is from help when he realizes that his guide, Vadim, a burly Soviet army veteran embittered by his experiences in Afghanistan, detests all humanity, including Tayler. Yet he needs Vadim’s superb skills if he is to survive a voyage that quickly turns hellish. They must navigate roiling whitewater in howling storms, but they eschew life jackets because, as Vadim explains, the frigid water would kill them before they could swim to shore. Though Tayler has trekked by camel through the Sahara and canoed down the Congo during the revolt against Mobutu, he has never felt so threatened as he does now.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544277298
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 08/07/2013
Sold by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 459,852
File size: 811 KB

About the Author

JEFFREY TAYLER is a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly and a contributor to Condé Nast Traveler, Harper’s Magazine, and National Geographic. He is the author of many critically acclaimed books, including Facing the Congo, Angry Wind, and River of No Reprieve.

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River of No Reprieve: Descending Siberia's Waterway of Exile, Death, and Destiny 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a can't-stop-reading book. This book is about much more than an adventure trip down a big river in Russia. Our leaders in Washington DC need to read this book to realize the results of government corruption, decadence, and indifference on a society.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A combination of boat travel, people in villages, and the authors guide A corner of the world forgotten even by the Russians
Anonymous More than 1 year ago