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One Steppe Beyond

READ & DOWNLOAD One Steppe Beyond

Traveling across the former Soviet Union is a challenge at the best of times doing so in a dilapidated VW is just that much  of an adventure A chance job offer at a timber yard in Estonia gives Thom and his old pal Jo a taste for the unknown So when Uncle To Basically a diary of Thom's trip across Russia and associated countries from Moscow to Vladivostok in a VW Campervan Considering the epic nature of the journey there's nothing particularly gripping about the book it was interesting enough to finish but there was precious little detail or description of the various areas Whole towns are dismissed in a sentence and there's not really either humour or drama in many of their escapades

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Ably the longest commute ever encountering corrupt officials film star mechanics and over friendly gangsters Far off the tourist trail they bear witness to the collapse of one nation and the birth of a new one during the free for all that was Russia in the 199 Thom and girl named Jo drive from Estonia to Vladivostok in a VW camper in 1991 just after the fall of the USSR The book is fast paced informative about scenery and headlines in history and the reader is interested in their personal stories to boot He seems a bit reckless or scatterbrained to head out rather ill prepared on such an adventure but is rescued on several occasions by good hearted Russians one guy towed their broken down van a hundred miles to a garage I went on line to get info on some of the places he visited since descriptions of place were generally thin but even so I like the guys writing style and plan to read some of his other books I

Thom Wheeler Á 8 READ

Ny asks them to drive to Vladivostok for another job they can’t think of a good reason why not The result is a classic caper across the former Soviet Union in Max a rusty old VW camper Knowing little of the language or the geography ahead they embark on prob I was really struggling with this book it just lacked color to me didn’t grab me at all and I had a hard time getting to the end Interesting topic and cool journey but the book just didn’t grab me

  • Paperback
  • 320
  • One Steppe Beyond
  • Thom Wheeler
  • English
  • 05 March 2018
  • 9781849531566

10 thoughts on “One Steppe Beyond

  1. says:

    Basically a diary of Thom's trip across Russia and associated countries from Moscow to Vladivostok in a VW Campervan Considering the epic nature of the journey there's nothing particularly gripping about the book it was interesting enough to finish but there was precious little detail or description of the various areas Whole towns are dismissed in a sentence and there's not really either humour or drama in many of their escapades

  2. says:

    I gave up Boring Attempts at humour fell flat So descriptive but none of the story was really interesting or engaging at all Maybe would have been good as a blog with photos and videos

  3. says:

    The thing about Russia is that it's really really huge So to write a book about driving across Russia in a campervan is as ambitious as well actually driving across Russia in a campervan Thom Wheeler has tackled both with aplomb He and his partner Jo drove from Tallinn in Estonia to Vladivostok a journey of some 10 000km in Max their VW campervanI visited Tallinn a couple of years ago and Poland and E Berlin while they were still under Soviet rule but have never been to Russia so I was really keen to read this book I was also enticed by the images on the cover The campervan the gigantic vodka bottle the Communist red star and the Kremlin all in muted colours reminiscent of the Soviet era promised to be an interesting readThis is not a 'personal' narrative; Thom Wheeler has taken a journalistic approach to condense their mammoth journey into just under 300 pages The book has a wealth of research behind it and is strongly focused on facts and history about the places en route and associated historical figures The factual stuff is sometimes presented descriptively in a different font to make it stand out and other times in bite sized chunks of bullet pointed information eg 'Some Facts about Ivan the Terrible' or 'Some Famous Natives of St Petersburg' I found this presentation of factual information very easy to digest as it slotted in nicely with the shift from glittering St Petersburg across the wild interior and Siberia to the relatively modern port of Vladivostok in the eastThis is an enjoyable and informative read if you're thinking of undertaking a similar journey or would like interesting snippets of Russian history with occasional flashes of humour

  4. says:

    Thom Wheeler and his old pal Jo leave the UK in the late 90s to come to Estonia at the behest of Thom's uncle Tony Uncle Tony imports lumber from the former USSR and has a contact give Thom a job The job doesn't last very long falling victim to outdated poorly maintained machinery and a culture of work that dictates that workers do anything but On the spur of the moment Tony tells the pair to look up an old buddy of his in Vladivostok who just might have something going Luckly Thom and Jo actually have a means to get to Vladivostok a beat up VW camper van named Max In spite of the fact that it was nearly a 6000 mile drive and neither Thom nor Jo spoke a word of Russian they were game It was in many ways the ideal time to visit the far reaches of the Russian empire It was amazingly safe the people they encountered along the way were generally helpful if not given to explanations You will come with us' could either lead to a silent glass of champagne or to an hour long interrogation by the police and the Russians after 70 years of Communism were able to fix virtually everything that went wrong with long suffering Max

  5. says:

    nonfiction; travel memoir 1997 RussiaSometimes droll but mostly dull; the journey from one end of the continent to the other somehow progresses without going anywhere lacks narrative and character

  6. says:

    I was really struggling with this book it just lacked color to me didn’t grab me at all and I had a hard time getting to the end Interesting topic and cool journey but the book just didn’t grab me

  7. says:

    Another entrant in the stunt journey 'I traversed the Andes by means of unicycle and an angry yak' category of travel writing The trouble with this style is that the narrative is easily overwhelmed by the need to recount the technical and mechanical aspects of the journey at the expense of relating what the traveller saw and this book proved to be very much a case in point Each town is rather sketchily described giving the impression that Russian settlements are pretty much interchangeable Whilst this may be factually accurate it did not make for a very engaging narrative There were also several instances of vehicle breakdown which were easily resolved and lacking in the tension which could have made the book involving I did wonder whether the author had used various fictional elements in the book in an attempt to give the narrative substance the whole reason for the journey seeming rather unlikely for example This aspect of the book reminded me of Stalin's Nose by Rory Maclean and was similarly unappealing to me Exaggerating for comic effect is fine but pure fiction should be billed as suchInterspersed amongst the travelogue Wheeler has rather clumsily placed some summaries of Russian history and culture of the type commonly found in guidebooks These parts were acceptable but contained no earth shattering revelations or great insights Wheeler was also accompanied by Jo a lady without a surname By the end of the book I was as much in the dark about her character as her full name Apart from the fact the she was a vegetarian used mainly for a lame attempt at humour she seems strangely colourless so much so that it was easy to end up doubting her existenceAfter thousands of miles stuck in second gear metaphorically the author eventually came to the end of his journey The narrative was wrapped up rather rapidly with the author making no attempt to explain whether the journey had affected his views on the country at all It felt as if Wheeler was eager to conclude the whole thing As a reader I was relieved to have finished this rather dull slog through the steppes

  8. says:

    Thom and girl named Jo drive from Estonia to Vladivostok in a VW camper in 1991 just after the fall of the USSR The book is fast paced informative about scenery and headlines in history and the reader is interested in their personal stories to boot He seems a bit reckless or scatterbrained to head out rather ill prepared on such an adventure but is rescued on several occasions by good hearted Russians one guy towed their broken down van a hundred miles to a garage I went on line to get info on some of the places he visited since descriptions of place were generally thin but even so I like the guys writing style and plan to read some of his other books I

  9. says:

    Though the trip took place over a decade ago the book didn't seem especially dated to me Instead it was a snapshot of the country outside the major cities showing both the good in all of the assistance they received from strangers as well as the bad in the menace from the authorities I am sensitive to anti Americanism in such books feeling that there was a bit of it in his depictions of Americans he encounters as though all Brits naturally behave like something from a Masterpiece Theatre production

  10. says:

    Two English friends take a spontaneous rather scatterbrained road trip from Estonia to Vladivostok in an old VW camper van It's 1997 and times in post Soviet Russia are still pretty good about a year before the crash of the ruble The author is not a profound observer of people or landscape and neither Brit knows any Russian which limits their understanding of what they see and the people they meet But I enjoyed reading it I came away with my respect for ordinary Russian people further confirmed

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