From Siberia, a Tale of Everyday Survival

By Jessa Crispin
Kirkus Reviews

willerslev_siberia coverI am learning all sorts of tips on how to survive on the taiga from Rane Willerslev’s On the Run in Siberia. How to lay traps. How to fish frozen rivers. How to persuade the spirits to work in my favor. And yet I feel safe and secure in the knowledge that there is a 99.8 percent chance I will never have to use this information.

On the Run is not simply a book of survival, even if it is the sexier part of the book. Willerslev came to Siberia to help the native tribes set up direct trade for sable fur with his native Denmark. Previously, their only option was to sell their furs to the Russian government, who was ripping them off and leaving them destitute. The author was also there to study their language and folklore, but it was the meddling in their economy that had him wanted by the police and living, barely, in a drafty cabin in a Siberian winter.

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