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Off the Beaten Tracks: Stories by Russian Hitchhikers

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"Today an unusually gifted generation is entering Russian literature. . . . Literature has not seen such an influx of energy in a long time."—Olga Slavnikova, director of the Debut Prize By and about Russian hitchhikers, these stories take the reader along the endless roads of central Russia, the Urals, the Altai, Siberia, and beyond. In energetic and vivid prose they depic "Today an unusually gifted generation is entering Russian literature. . . . Literature has not seen such an influx of energy in a long time."—Olga Slavnikova, director of the Debut Prize By and about Russian hitchhikers, these stories take the reader along the endless roads of central Russia, the Urals, the Altai, Siberia, and beyond. In energetic and vivid prose they depict all sorts of curious Russian types: exotic adventures in far-flung places, the complex psychological relationships that develop on the road, and these hitchhikers' inexplicable passion for tramping. "In via veritas" is their motto. The authors are all winners of the Debut Prize, and will present the book at BEA in 2012 in New York. Irina Bogatyreva lives in Moscow. She has won several prizes, including the Debut, for her novel AUTO-STOP. She has several published books to her credit. Tatiana Mazepina is the latest Debut Prize winner. She is a member of the Society of Free Travellers. She works as a journalist and writes on religious matters. Igor Savelyev lives in Ufa (Bashkiria) where he works as a crime reporter. He is the winner of the Debut Prize and several other prizes.


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"Today an unusually gifted generation is entering Russian literature. . . . Literature has not seen such an influx of energy in a long time."—Olga Slavnikova, director of the Debut Prize By and about Russian hitchhikers, these stories take the reader along the endless roads of central Russia, the Urals, the Altai, Siberia, and beyond. In energetic and vivid prose they depic "Today an unusually gifted generation is entering Russian literature. . . . Literature has not seen such an influx of energy in a long time."—Olga Slavnikova, director of the Debut Prize By and about Russian hitchhikers, these stories take the reader along the endless roads of central Russia, the Urals, the Altai, Siberia, and beyond. In energetic and vivid prose they depict all sorts of curious Russian types: exotic adventures in far-flung places, the complex psychological relationships that develop on the road, and these hitchhikers' inexplicable passion for tramping. "In via veritas" is their motto. The authors are all winners of the Debut Prize, and will present the book at BEA in 2012 in New York. Irina Bogatyreva lives in Moscow. She has won several prizes, including the Debut, for her novel AUTO-STOP. She has several published books to her credit. Tatiana Mazepina is the latest Debut Prize winner. She is a member of the Society of Free Travellers. She works as a journalist and writes on religious matters. Igor Savelyev lives in Ufa (Bashkiria) where he works as a crime reporter. He is the winner of the Debut Prize and several other prizes.

34 review for Off the Beaten Tracks: Stories by Russian Hitchhikers

  1. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    'The fact that it's Ufa is irrelevant, really. It's just another Russian metropolis. One of the few points on the map where two state highways intersect, in this case M7 Volga and M5 Ural.' The Pale City: Igor Savelyev Spoken like a true long haul hitchhiker. I picked this up because words like Ural, road, and taiga were irresistible to me. I took to it because of its quality and my nostalgia. Canada, 1969 to 1973, it seemed like every young person took to the Trans-Canada to hitch hike to Van. I 'The fact that it's Ufa is irrelevant, really. It's just another Russian metropolis. One of the few points on the map where two state highways intersect, in this case M7 Volga and M5 Ural.' The Pale City: Igor Savelyev Spoken like a true long haul hitchhiker. I picked this up because words like Ural, road, and taiga were irresistible to me. I took to it because of its quality and my nostalgia. Canada, 1969 to 1973, it seemed like every young person took to the Trans-Canada to hitch hike to Van. If you did this, you were bound to pass through country they used in 'Dr. Zhivago'. There are three writers at work here, Igor Savelyev, Irina Bogatyreva, and Tatiana Mazepina with three stories and their excellent translators. In two of the stories, the preferred territory is Siberia. In the last story, by Mazepina (Traveling to Paradise), we are treated to a 'someone's going to put an eye out' type trip where a young Russian woman hitchhikes ALONE through Turkey, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Fortunately, all goes well. The worst that happens is getting overfed in Egypt. Never eat before visiting Egyptians. I thoroughly enjoyed all the back and forth across Siberia, including a visit way off the beaten track to a remote lake. Somebody really does put an eye out there, at least emotionally. The stars were certainly worth it. This book was a really nice find.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tracy Reilly

    Somewhere between 3 and 4 really. I like the vicarious travel around Russia, and the in the moment-ness of the stories, but the writers weren't so great at bringing the characters around them to life as well as I'd like, since they seemed like potentially interesting people. Probably just due to inexperience ?? Maybe the subject, hitchhiking, forced too much "in-the-moment". Still, glad I read it--the last writer was perhaps the bravest and most interesting. Imagine, a young girl putting herself Somewhere between 3 and 4 really. I like the vicarious travel around Russia, and the in the moment-ness of the stories, but the writers weren't so great at bringing the characters around them to life as well as I'd like, since they seemed like potentially interesting people. Probably just due to inexperience ?? Maybe the subject, hitchhiking, forced too much "in-the-moment". Still, glad I read it--the last writer was perhaps the bravest and most interesting. Imagine, a young girl putting herself on the road, all alone, in Arabic countries-not knowing the language, and winning everyone over--no trouble, or so she says. Anyway, a quick, light read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jonna

    I will just rate this book 1 star. Which isn't fair to all three of the writers, since they have different stories and write differently. The first two parts; "The pale city" and "Off the beaten track" didn't catch me at all. I kept thinking if it was due to the dragging story or if it was the translation from Russian to English that didn't work. It was maybe a lot due to my own expectations too. In those two stories I felt the story never ended and I kept forcing myself through it, hoping for a I will just rate this book 1 star. Which isn't fair to all three of the writers, since they have different stories and write differently. The first two parts; "The pale city" and "Off the beaten track" didn't catch me at all. I kept thinking if it was due to the dragging story or if it was the translation from Russian to English that didn't work. It was maybe a lot due to my own expectations too. In those two stories I felt the story never ended and I kept forcing myself through it, hoping for a turn. I always keep reading a book if I have started so I still respect the writer and the time they have put down in writing, correcting and translating the books. The third part "Traveling to paradise" was a positive turn for me, I found it well written/translated and it had an interesting story that kept me wanting to read more! Maybe it was more relatable for me. Anyway, I would have recommended them to put this story in the beginning and then the other two after.

  4. 5 out of 5

    David

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ana-Maria

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elena

  7. 4 out of 5

    Selina Boatright

  8. 4 out of 5

    Celeste Thayer

  9. 5 out of 5

    Greg

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anca

  11. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rick

    amazing stories, definitely well written and thoughtful. look forward to more from these three

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ken Mayer

  14. 5 out of 5

    Luke Dunne

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cbsd library

  16. 5 out of 5

    Molly

  17. 5 out of 5

    World Literature Today

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rafael

  19. 4 out of 5

    danya

  20. 4 out of 5

    Raitis Iljenkovs

  21. 4 out of 5

    Švihrová Zuzana

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  23. 4 out of 5

    Richard

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily Reznicek

  25. 5 out of 5

    Oksana

  26. 4 out of 5

    Veronika

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eamonn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mike May

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tania Ramos

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cora

  31. 5 out of 5

    Kn

  32. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Dickinson

  33. 4 out of 5

    Efim

  34. 4 out of 5

    Catgirl (in Perth)

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