One of modern day so much intrepid writers chronicles a perilous trek during the mythical sector that gave start to the gulag and gave Siberia its outsize attractiveness for perilous isolation.
In a custom-built boat, Jeffrey Tayler travels a few 2,400 miles down the Lena River from close to Lake Baikal to excessive above the Arctic Circle, recreating a trip first made through Cossack forces greater than 300 years in the past. he's looking for primeval good looks and a respite from the corruption, violence, and self-destructive urges that typify glossy Russian tradition, yet as an alternative he unearths the roots of that culture—in Cossack villages unchanged for hundreds of years, in Soviet outposts jam-packed with listless drunks, in stark ruins of the gulag, and in grand forests hundreds and hundreds of miles from the closest hamlet.
That’s how a long way Tayler is from support whilst he realizes that his advisor, Vadim, a burly Soviet military veteran embittered through his reports in Afghanistan, detests all humanity, together with Tayler. but he wishes Vadim’s very good abilities if he's to outlive a voyage that fast turns hellish. they have to navigate roiling whitewater in howling storms, yet they eschew existence jackets simply because, as Vadim explains, the frigid water might kill them sooner than they can swim to shore. notwithstanding Tayler has trekked by means of camel in the course of the Sahara and canoed down the Congo in the course of the insurrection opposed to Mobutu, he hasn't ever felt so threatened as he does now.