Midnight in Siberia

Midnight in Siberia

A Train Journey Into the Heart of Russia

Book - 2014
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Far away from the trendy cafés, designer boutiques, and political protests and crackdowns in Moscow, the real Russia exists.

Midnight in Siberia chronicles David Greene's journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway, a 6,000-mile cross-country trip from Moscow to the Pacific port of Vladivostok. In quadruple-bunked cabins and stopover towns sprinkled across the country's snowy landscape, Greene speaks with ordinary Russians about how their lives have changed in the post-Soviet years.

These travels offer a glimpse of the new Russia--a nation that boasts open elections and newfound prosperity but continues to endure oppression, corruption, a dwindling population, and stark inequality.

We follow Greene as he finds opportunity and hardship embodied in his fellow train travelers and in conversations with residents of towns throughout Siberia.

We meet Nadezhda, an entrepreneur who runs a small hotel in Ishim, fighting through corrupt layers of bureaucracy every day. Greene spends a joyous evening with a group of babushkas who made international headlines as runners-up at the Eurovision singing competition. They sing Beatles covers, alongside their traditional songs, finding that music and companionship can heal wounds from the past. In Novosibirsk, Greene has tea with Alexei, who runs the carpet company his mother began after the Soviet collapse and has mixed feelings about a government in which his family has done quite well. And in Chelyabinsk, a hunt for space debris after a meteorite landing leads Greene to a young man orphaned as a teenager, forced into military service, and now figuring out if any of his dreams are possible.

Midnight in Siberia is a lively travel narrative filled with humor, adventure, and insight. It opens a window onto that country's complicated relationship with democracy and offers a rare look into the soul of twenty-first-century Russia.

Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780393239959
Branch Call Number: 914.704 Gre
Characteristics: xvii, 318 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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ChristchurchLib Aug 09, 2016

David Greene, a co-host of NPR's Morning Edition, spent several years based in Russia, and in Midnight in Siberia, he describes his eye-opening travels along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. Traveling third class from Moscow to Vladivostok, he meets ordinary but fascinating people -- from singing babushkas to entrepreneurial teens -- and shares food and time with them. Using this trip as a lens, he also focuses on the challenges faced by 21st-century Russia. For another entertaining look at this vast, storied place, try Ian Frazier's acclaimed Travels in Siberia.

Homa7 Apr 23, 2015

Midnight in Siberia by David Green

NPR correspondent David Greene gets modern Russia to life as he and one of his Russian coworkers takes a trip on the Trans-Siberian Railroad from Moscow to Vladivostak. He is either freezing or on an overheated train meets many fascinating people and each chapter is dedicated to a specific person they meet on the train or have an appointment to meet, he is bewildered despite their unsatisfactory towards their government , jailing of people with no proof they do not rise up and bring a democracy to their country. One of the more surprising meet ups was the son of the man who invented the Kalashnakov. I found the book to be both engaging and worth reading.

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