White Fever by Jacek Hugo-Bader
A Journey to the Frozen Heart of Siberia

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No one in their right mind travels across Siberia in the middle of winter in a modified Russian jeep, with only a CD player (which breaks on the first day) for company. But Jacek Hugo-Bader is no ordinary traveler. As a fiftieth birthday present to himself, he sets out to drive from Moscow to Vladivostok, traversing a continent that is two and a half times bigger than America, awash with bandits, and not always fully equipped with roads. But if his mission sounds deranged it is in keeping with the land he is visiting. For Siberia is slowly dying — or, more accurately, killing itself. This is a traumatized post-Communist landscape peopled by the homeless and the hopeless: alcoholism is endemic, as are suicides, murders, and deaths from AIDS . As he gets to know these communities and speaks to the people, Hugo-Bader discovers a great deal of tragedy, but there is also dark humor to be found amongst the reindeer shepherds, the former hippies, the modern-day rappers, the homeless and the sick, the shamans, and the followers of ‘one of the six Russian Christs,’ just one of the many arcane religions that flourish in this isolated, impossible region.

About Jacek Hugo-Bader

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Born in 1957, Jacek Hugo-Bader is a Polish journalist for the leading daily paper, Gazeta Wyborcza. He is a former special-needs teacher, loader of trucks, weigher of pigs, and counselor of troubled couples. He lives in Warsaw.
Published October 1, 2012 by Counterpoint. 336 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Action & Adventure, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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“Time and again,” he writes, “after ten or more hours of lonely driving across wild wastelands I felt as if I were part of this machine…it was an uncanny feeling, so in my thoughts I had started to humanize it, talk to it, call it names, pay it compliments, saying it had a lovely voice, for example.

Aug 06 2012 | Read Full Review of White Fever: A Journey to the...

The Guardian

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There is a marvellous image at the beginning of White Fever, an account by Polish journalist Jacek Hugo-Bader of his demoralising road trip across Siberia.

Jul 15 2011 | Read Full Review of White Fever: A Journey to the...

Publishers Weekly

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It makes for grim, but, at times, intriguing reading, especially chapters on Arzamas, whose people suffer the fallout from the USSR's nuclear bomb tests nearby, and Gorod, "the only place in Russia where I meet happy people."

Oct 15 2012 | Read Full Review of White Fever: A Journey to the...

City Book Review

“White Fever” refers to the hallucinations that accompany the insanely excessive vodka drinking that is so common in this part of the world, and it’s an appropriate metaphor for the desperate circumstances of the indigenous peoples of Siberia.

Nov 07 2012 | Read Full Review of White Fever: A Journey to the...

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