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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating adventure which will put you one step closer to understanding Russia
Did you know that within Russia there exists a small republic of Transnistria (it is unrecognised by other countries) whose main product is an exquisite and expensive cognac? Did you know that Lake Baykal (which is bigger than some seas) has a shore with dead bodies of sailors frozen to its rocks? Did you know that vodka can have hallucinogenic effects?

In...
Published on 18 July 2011 by Anna Drops

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DOWN AMONG THE DROP-OUTS
If you want to read all you'd like to believe about anti-Russian propaganda, this is the book for you. The Polish jounalist author is supposed to have travelled across Siberia in an ex-Soviet jeep. On his journey (which apparently follows the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway, but never touches it) he meets his selection of the dregs of Russian society. Of course he...
Published 2 months ago by D. Smith


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating adventure which will put you one step closer to understanding Russia, 18 July 2011
Did you know that within Russia there exists a small republic of Transnistria (it is unrecognised by other countries) whose main product is an exquisite and expensive cognac? Did you know that Lake Baykal (which is bigger than some seas) has a shore with dead bodies of sailors frozen to its rocks? Did you know that vodka can have hallucinogenic effects?

In Jacek Hugo-Bader's book you will find this and many other incredible but factual stories about different parts of the vast Russian country and its people. That's why I find the under-title misleading - the book is about so much more than just how to survive the Siberian cold.

The author meets various people on his way across Russia, he drinks with the bums, talks with prostitutes and hears confessions of dead miners' wives and HIV carriers. He tells a first-hand experience of life in Russia. This is a Michael Palin type of story. If you are interested in how other people live, how they cope and what they think - in this case the different ethnicities and social groups in Russia - it is a must-read for you.

The book is absolutely terrific, I read it in Polish and am so happy it has been translated - I am buying the English version for a friend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars THE REAL RUSSIA ??, 7 Sep 2011
If you are expecting a detailed travel log about a jeep journey across Russia-forget it. The authors geographical encounters in the book are extremely brief. However, the author has very cleverly inserted his people experiences across this vast country........but interaction mainly with people and communities that are struggling with life and all the challenges they face. Russia is a giant of a country, successfully competing in global industry and commerce. Lets not forget, there are a lot of rich Russians these days. The author has not gone that way, he is out in the sticks with the locals in the 'Real Russia'. I work in Russia now and there is so much I can relate to and have seen, that is in this book. A great read, well written with a lot of surprises. Welldone!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Under the Skin of Siberia, 16 Aug 2011
By 
T. R. Cowdret "Tommy C" (Nottingham England) - See all my reviews
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I think that this is the best book I have read about modern Russia. Hugo-Bader manages to get under the skin of Siberia in this incredibly well researched, dramatic, funny and tragic travelogue. He takes us along with him through shamanic rituals in Siberian hospitals, into Evenki villages plagued by vodka (leading to the 'White Fever' of the title) and face to face with the dreadful administration of an orphanage in Ayaguz. We meet HIV sufferers, ageing hippies and Mikhail Kalashnikov, inventor of the automatic rifle. The book takes in a huge amount of material and Hugo-Bader manages to examine all of it with profundity and sensitivity.

Ineresting comparisons might be made with Daniel Kalder's book 'Strange Telescopes', which covers some similar areas (both authors enter the world of Vissarion, a former traffic cop who now proclaims himself Christ to his many followers). Enjoyable as Kalder's book is, Hugo-Baden's account is simply more impressive.

Hugo-Baden writes with a sense of humour and, unusually for a non-fiction author, incorporates wonderful moments of metatextuality. He has a real ear for the idiolects of the different people he meets on his journey and their speech is rendered wonderfully in the book. He avoids grandiose, poetic descriptions of the icy taiga, preferring to focus on the people living there. This approach truly allows him to show us what is really going on in this country.

I would agree with all of the comments in the previous excellent review, with the exception of the comparison to Michael Palin. This writer seems able to explore niches and corners far darker, more obscure and more interesting than Palin.

Some parts of this book are incredibly difficult to read because they are so filled with sadness. I would, however, recommend any reader with even the vaguest of interests in this country to pick up a copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars White heat.....Brilliant read, 1 Sep 2012
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This book was gripping from the very start. As well as giving the armchair traveller a not so comfortable ride through frozen Siberia along with hints on survival,it provides a fascinating and startling look at modern day Russia after the fall of communism. The reader is given the facts on survival for various ethnic and minority groups without judgement , leaving the reader to reach their own conclusions. A must read for any with an interest in how other countries function. Especially for the brave armchair traveller!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a travel book, more a snapshot of society, 28 May 2012
An odd sort of travel book really. Details of the traveling we only in the last chapter of the book.

What this book really is about is the people of Russia and Siberia. He writes about the places and people that he meets, and highlights the just how desperate and poor the people are in the post Soviet era.

I didn't realise just how big a problem they have with Aids now, let alone what is going to happen in the future.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Snapshots from Russia, 11 Jan 2013
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A quirky series of journalistic essays and interviews rather than a conventional travelogue. Gives real insight into the underbelly of russia - some disturbing stuff on the effects of chernoybl, aids etc.
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4.0 out of 5 stars White Fever, Black Dream, 31 Aug 2011
I had a feeling Russian society is a mess but this is bad. The depths of depravity, the morass of misery and the sheer hopelessness of the general humanity Jurek Hugo-Bader meets on his journey across the country would overwhelm the reader were it not for Mr Hugo-Bader's light touch - and here a word of praise for the outstanding rendition by his translator. In the end, piling farce upon misery upn hopelessness across alcoholics, drug takers, bandits, prostitutes, and the persecuted outsiders of Russian society makes for a depressing picture of a society where force and money outweigh any notions of democracy or fairness; and it may be that the dregs of any society would paint similar Orwellian pictures, but it appears that old Bolshevik notions of citizens lives being of no value persevere in modern Russia. And that is the tragedy of this tale.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars DOWN AMONG THE DROP-OUTS, 6 May 2014
By 
D. Smith "David Smith" (surrey UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: White Fever: A Journey to the Frozen Heart of Siberia (Paperback)
If you want to read all you'd like to believe about anti-Russian propaganda, this is the book for you. The Polish jounalist author is supposed to have travelled across Siberia in an ex-Soviet jeep. On his journey (which apparently follows the route of the Trans-Siberian Railway, but never touches it) he meets his selection of the dregs of Russian society. Of course he meets drug and alcohol abusers, AIDs victims and families of suicides. He could probably find something similar by scouring the dregs of British society. Maybe present day Russia is not the same as the Soviet Union I travelled across some years ago. But this grim, unrelenting, negative display of one of the major countries in the world does not seem to be a complete reflection of what is good and bad in Russia today. But no doubt the hawks in the US government have it as bedtime reading.

iDprostitutes and suid
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars White Fever, 17 May 2012
By 
Ce Moore - See all my reviews
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This review is from: White Fever: A Journey to the Frozen Heart of Siberia (Paperback)
If you like journalistic writing and reporter approach to travel, you'll be happy to read this book. The author is in fact a journalist and is content to report on a few encounters in Russia and Siberia with an emotional detachment similar to an anthropologist on fieldwork...
In my view, this is not travel writing: the unveiling of an inner transformation at the coalface of a new reality. There is no new insights, no deep search, no inner travails... it lacks the very essence of human life: the mystery of transformation and emotional learning which leads to a better understanding of destiny and the human condition.
But you will learn quite a bit about the downs-and-outs of Russia and Siberia: that is very well documented.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars not a road trip, 5 Nov 2012
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I should have read more customer reviews before buying this book. The Product Description and title are quite misleading, and my star-rating is based on "White Fever" not being what it seems to be. The book mainly consists of the experiences of over- and underground people in modern day chaotic, law-of-the-jungle Russia - Moscow in particular - and as such it is quite "static." This is interesting and illuminating if that is what you are looking for, but if you are after a cross country adventure through the wild backroads of this vast land, you will be disappointed.
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White Fever: A Journey to the Frozen Heart of Siberia
White Fever: A Journey to the Frozen Heart of Siberia by Jacek Hugo-Bader (Paperback - 3 May 2012)
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