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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underground civilisations, a traffic cop Jesus, infestations of demons and massive wood., 26 April 2008
By 
D. Humphries "dhumphd" (Sendai, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Strange Telescopes (Paperback)
'Strange Telescopes' is Kalder's follow-up to his first book 'Lost Cosmonaut'. While 'Lost Cosmonaut' dealt predominantly with bizarre, lost or dark places, 'Strange Telescopes' deals with people - bizarre, lost or dark people. It begins with Kalder following The Digger under the surface of Moscow to try and find underground civilizations, then he follows a strange and sincere young film-maker obsessed with demons to the Ukraine on an exorcism tour. He witnesses many an exorcism by extraordinary semi-rogue priests, but also the new politics of a country that welcomed Eurovision like it was the Olympics, and celebrates western Democracy with one hand, while celebrating brutal anti-semitism with the other. His third journey takes him up a mountain in Siberia to meet Vissarion Christ, one time traffic cop and now a modern messiah claiming to be the reincarnation of you-know-who, and with thousands of ex-city followers living in hellish conditions, from pop stars to dwarves. Kalder's final trip is to the Arctic Circle, to the highest wooden skyscraper in the world, built by a Russian businessman. In his meeting with the convicted criminal and entrepreneur, Kalder finds the key to all of his experiences. 'Strange Telescopes' is written by a more mature author than 'Lost Cosmonaut' and tells incredible human stories of people with tremendous vision who lived in a brief period of chaos (Russia in the 1990s) in which time they could create the worlds that they wish existed. Kalder is sympathetic to the creators, does not patronise them, and yet is also realistic in his assessment of their visions. Kalder's trademark dark humour is present throughout, but this time he has an absolute dedication to the veracity of his and their experience. A superb book, that shows insight both into a place and time, but also into human nature in extremis. Highly recommended.
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Strange Telescopes
Strange Telescopes by Daniel Kalder (Paperback - 1 May 2008)
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