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Running with reindeer - Roger Took

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Running with reindeer - encounters in Russian Lapland
Roger Took
Paperback / softback
John Murray
UK Publication Date

Russian Lapland is rarely heard of today but after World War I it was briefly at the centre of the ideological divide as the Bolsheviks brought land clearances, slave labour and the suppression of the indigenous Lapps.

Travelling across tundra and taiga, through wetlands and forests, and in all seasons, Roger Took found a pristine wilderness full of wildlife. He lived among Saami families struggling to retain their traditions of herding and hunting, and was welcomed by pioneer villagers descended from medieval fur-traders. He describes life in the wild and isolated Soviet mining towns and the great industrial Arctic port of Murmansk, and also how he managed to uncover some of the secret lost areas, long closed to Russians and foreigners alike. As nuclear submarines rot and old industries crumble, he observes how new Russian biznes is creating wealth in its own way.

The result is a series of encounters, some emotional but historically rich, some comical but dangerous, others absurd but endearing. Moving between the lines of the official histories, coping with arduous Arctic conditions, avoiding the still-vigilant security services, Roger Took presents a vivid account of a unique part of Europe.

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Roger Took is an art historian and museum curator. Before becoming involved with Russia, he held several museum posts in England and was the founding director of Artangel, the London-based contemporary arts group. An active Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, he currently spends much of the year in the field with a Russian research team of archaeologists and historians. He lives in London and on the west coast of Ireland.

A compelling story of adventure spent with the reindeer-herding and hunting community that exists on the fringes of the modern world
Daily Express, BOOK OF THE WEEK

Like most visitors to Russia, Roger Took finds warmth, humour and generosity. He gives an entertaining account of his experiences in a region that remains, despite salmon, apatite and the Northern Fleet, one of the uttermost parts of the earth
Independent on Sunday


An absorbing and almost encyclopaedic account of northern travels ... Out of Roger Took's story emerges the beauty of the land, the well-observed character and comedy of the people, the smells of food and smoky tents
Trevor Fishlock, Daily Telegraph

Gripping ... Full of information about historical sideshows, the book also charts the changes that have taken place in the last decade. It presents a picture of an utterly unfamiliar corner of the last Russian empire - remote, troubled and run-down
Justin Cartwright, Sunday Telegraph

Enthralling ... as we ride with Roger, wrapped in deerskins, though a frosty forest, on a reindeer sledge

Roger Took has style, and his elegantly written and sometimes nicely self-depracating prose makes his book quite exceptional in recent travel writing on Russia
East-West Review

One of those rare, remarkable books that leave the reader with a vivid sense of a part of world he is unlikely to visit ... Took's curiosity and gently self-depreciating style make him the perfect guide to this fascinating land
Mail on Sunday

What a superb Reindeer book! It's now tempting me to read not only at bed-time, when reading for fun is allowed, but at intervals during the day when I should be writing.
Dervla Murphy

Fascinating ... a remarkable image of this little-known region
Sunday Times

Keyword Index
Sami (European people) - Social conditions.|Kola Peninsula (Russia) - Description and travel.
Country of Publication
Number of Pages

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