Travels in Siberia
This is exactly what I am looking for in a travel book. Frazier does an excellent job in combining extensive historical research and personal travel details and interweaves them into an immensely enjoyable book. Ignore the fact that Travels in Siberia is about 600 pages long, and travels to someplace you may never get to or wish to visit.
Frazier spent several years and several trips to various parts of Siberia, and this remains the main focus of this book. The engaging factor is that none of these are just trips, and he allows for the Russian Far East to become part of his life, his passion. Supplementing the daily details of the trips, including what they ate, where they camped, what they wore, and how they suffered the army of mosquitoes, is a rich history of Siberia and the overall international implications that stem from that vast region.
Frazier admits in the end that he does not cover the well known environmental destruction of Siberia in any real way. I wish he would have devoted a little more than a few pages to this, but might be a good companion book to Tiger by John Vaillant - which does focus on environmental, ecological, economic and political forces specifically on tigers, but also on the culture and survival of the Siberian way of life.
I have never read any Frazier before, but I don't think that this will be my last. Going from the vast lands of Siberia, he has also written a more focused type of travel novel, On the Rez, about his time spent on the poverty stricken Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota for Ogalala Sioux. His travel writing is also regularly featured in the Best American Travel Writing series.