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One Steppe Beyond: Across Russia in a VW Camper Paperback – 1 Aug 2011

20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale; 1 edition (1 Aug. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849531560
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849531566
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Thom is a writer with an interest in travel and a particular interest in regions of the ex Soviet Union. He has lived for extended periods of time in Georgia, Estonia, Ukraine and Russia.

He has contributed to various publications, and appeared on BBC Radio and Talk Radio Europe. Thom is the first person to drive a campervan across the Russian Federation (from Tallinn to Vladivostok) - a journey recounted in his book 'One Steppe Beyond.' He lives in Brighton.

Product Description

Review

'This well-written account is full of humour, character portraits and information asides.'

(Motorcaravan & Motorhome Monthly)

'Entertaining account of a drive to Vladivostok and the encounters along the way.'

(The Bookseller)

Featured in

(Wanderlust)

'Wheeler's book is an absorbing and entertaining look at Russia's dramatic evolution in the '90s'.'

(Real Travel)

About the Author

Thom Wheeler lived in St. Petersburg for several years working as a guide and teacher before going on to live in several ex-Soviet countries, including Georgia and Ukraine. He continues to spend time in the ex-Soviet Union traveling, teaching, and writing, and he runs an annual theater workshop in Tzarskoe Selo, Russia. This is his first book.

Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J.WELLING-JAYA on 15 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We were traveling in our VW t4 California Exclusive camper from Amsterdam to Vladivostok and back (2014, see wellingfamily.waarbenjij.nu) when we read in the Lonely Planet guide about this book. On returning home after 132 days and 41.000 km I bought this book to see what has changed. Lots. We now have Gps and on line maps so we can always find the way. Also the road (M58) from Chita to Skovorodina and onwards is now complete (albite a bit undulated and hence already under repair). The M53 from Novosibirsk to Krasnoyarsk is now more then a line on some map but actually exists. All in all Russia is open for the entrepenerial tourist.

Tom's book is very entertaining and well written. How he and Jo managed go through with their wild plan of driving Max over some 12,000 km of partialy unpaved roads is comendable. Becuase they were both independant travelers, and in times of stress could both do their own thing, they managed to stay sain (and together during this trip). An epilogue mentioning what happened after Vladivostok to Max, Jo and Thom, would have been nice.

The book is not suitable as a travel guide but gives a good feeling of the atmostfeer in Russia in 1997 after it opened up in 1991 and the first dust had settled.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By N Charrett on 27 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book...It makes me just wanna go and buy an old campervan and head out onto the open road. In todays all too serious world too, Thom Wheeler's 'One Stepp Beyond gives you a welcome antidote to all the austerity and doomongery that pervades most of our daily lives, reminds us that there is still adventure to be had if we just say yes to opportunity, just remain open to 'maybe'.

Having travelled extensively throughout the region too, I really enjoyed the personal commentary on his and his friend's haphazard wanderings, as well as the bite-size insights to the places they visited, without loading the reader with too much 'history'.

This book is a real tonic on a long winter night that's for sure. Will there be a follow up? I hope so Mr Wheeler...Time to crank up 'Max' again and head off into the sunset!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jack Lacey on 2 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
A raw and gritty ruble infused rollercoaster of a travelogue following the exploits of a pair of crazy English travellers who decided to drive a campervan across post-Soviet Russia from St Petersburg to Vladivostock. Its honest,intimate, informative and poignant at times, as we follow the intrepid pair's trail through forests and frozen plains, backstreet garages and mafioso infested ghost-towns to their final destination. Fancy a different, hearty read that's infused with beatnik abandon, then I heartily recommend this book!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Jon Brasco on 31 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've just finished reading Thom Wheeler's book 'One Steppe Beyond', the story of an epic journey across the ex Soviet Union, and I really enjoyed it. It manages to capture the excitement of youth with an insightful and humourous look at a much unreported part of the world.....all wrapped up in a great story. Aspirational stuff and well worth a look.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Wisty on 31 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
Written in a nice easy style, this travel diary contains much to entertain anyone who has so much as a passing interest in Russia and "things Russian". Thom is clearly an open minded sort of guy who looks for the good and amusing in any given situation rather than dwelling on more negative aspects. To get the best out of any trip to Russia you need to i) not take yourself too seriously, ii) be interested in everything, and iii) understand that Russians are not Westerners, they don't act like Westerners and they don't think like Westerners. Thom embraces all these concepts and more, and the result is a highly readable account which I for one go back to time and time again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alick on 14 Dec. 2014
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Not sure whether I'm supposed to be reviewing the seller or the book here, but I'm going with the book - it was ok. Fine for light reading to pass the time - on the train going somewhere distant or a similar situation - but it is not particularly interesting. I gained a passing sense of the places the author had visited, but the telling of the story is not gripping. It is as though you have been cornered at a party by someone who considers themself rather more interesting than they actually are. So to summarise; not terrible, but not brilliant.
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Format: Paperback
A good and insightful read into Russia, which is not drawn out. The book provides some interesting insights into Russia's geography, culture and history. I picked up some interenting facts and knowledge about what it is like to travel across Russia.

The writer engages with the history and geaography of many of the places him and his travel partner visited during the drive across Russia. The writer includes pieces of interesting information surrounding Ivan the Terrible to Romanov dynasty.

This is a good book for anyone interested in Russia or interested in travelling to Russia. If you just want to learn a bit about Russia this book is a good starting point.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By MONTYMAN on 8 Dec. 2012
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I enjoyed this very much. It was easy to read with a light touch which made me want to keep reading it. An interesting insight into Russia a few years ago and a remarkable journey to make in a VW campervan.
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