- By Eric Newby

The Big Red Train Ride

  • Title: The Big Red Train Ride
  • Author: Eric Newby
  • ISBN: 9780312078492
  • Page: 111
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Big Red Train Ride The only continuous land route between Western Europe and the Pacific coast of the USSR the Trans Siberian Railway covers nearly a degrees of longitude seven time zones and miles in a journ

    The only continuous land route between Western Europe and the Pacific coast of the USSR, the Trans Siberian Railway covers nearly a 100 degrees of longitude, seven time zones and 5900 miles in a journey lasting 192 hours and 35 minutes In 1977 Eric Newby set out with his wife, an official guide and a photographer to gather a wealth of irreverent and humorous detail aboutThe only continuous land route between Western Europe and the Pacific coast of the USSR, the Trans Siberian Railway covers nearly a 100 degrees of longitude, seven time zones and 5900 miles in a journey lasting 192 hours and 35 minutes In 1977 Eric Newby set out with his wife, an official guide and a photographer to gather a wealth of irreverent and humorous detail about life in the USSR.

    1 thought on “The Big Red Train Ride

    1. My favourite moment in this travel book is the KGB man's horror at seeing Newby's copy of a pre-WWI souvenir book about the Trans-Siberian featuring masses of information about the route and the stations all of which was restricted strategic data in the Soviet Union to be protected from the eyes of spying foreigners. Newby's book recounting the long train journey from Moscow across Siberia on the Trans-Siberian railway is thoroughly inoffensive and mildly entertaining - perfect for anybody recov [...]

    2. Reading this whilst completing the Trans-Siberian route solo, Newby became my informed, jovial, well-meaning though frequently tedious travel companion. His attention to the detail of the world's longest train ride is Newby's real forte here. One such example had me staring from the window my 6-berth 'plaskart' compartment in awe as I read of the creatures hidden in the vast Russian steppe that tumbled past my eyes. This fired the imagination as all such travel reads should. and at times it was [...]

    3. Found a copy of at the local used book store a few months ago - it was on my To Look For list thanks to a review at A Common Reader. In the mid 1970's, "amateur traveller" and newspaper writer Eric Newby persuaded his wife and Otto, a photographer, to ride the Trans-Siberian Railway with him. A traveling companion assigned by The Agency became their fourth, and, despite his best efforts, they managed to have quite an interesting adventure within the far-easterly section of the Soviet Empire.At l [...]

    4. I really wanted to like this book. In the end it was hard work. The book suffers because in 1977, foreigners were allowed to stop only in three places on the Trans-Siberan: Novosibirsk, Irkutsk and Khabarovsk. Foreigners were also not allowed at the final destination -Vladivostok, and had to end the journey at the ferry / fishing port of Nakhodka.Sadly, due to the lack of possibility on the journey, the book gets bogged down in history and extracts of other traveller's tales. Still some amusing [...]

    5. Eric Newby, his wife, Wanda, Otto the German photographer, and Mischa, their "guide", journey from Moscow to Nakhodka (on the Pacific) by way of the 5,900-mile trans-Siberian railway.As we journey long each section of the railway, Newby describes the history of that stretch, the local industry (timber, mining, trade, etc.), the people, and the landscape/geology. He introduces us to the great depravations and stomach-turning brutality suffered by the millions of slaves used to build the trans-Sib [...]

    6. My traveling obsessed friend recommended it. Barely made it through this book. Lets face it, it's a long boring train ride, and there is not much that can be done about a book on the topic.There was absolutely no need to tell the reader what time it is in Moscow and on the train all the time. Also, no need to talk about all the technical details of the train, and a long list of other boring topics. He complains about how boring another visit to a soviet wire factory would be, but in essence that [...]

    7. This book was parts interesting, hilarious, and tedious. I don't have the exact words in front of me anymore, as I've returned the book to the library, but at one point the author considered using the following dedication: "To the agency, without whose help this book would have been written much more cheaply, and at least a year sooner." When I borrowed the book, I didn't quite grasp what I was getting into -- it was recommended (of course I don't remember offhand by whom but it's written in one [...]

    8. Of things that I will never do ,of an era long past an insight to Siberia of the 70's with the history of all the ares past through the trans-Siberian train . Made me to want read an updated account of current day situation of some of the main cities .

    9. My mother loaned me this book several years ago, for reasons I have not remembered, and it has sat on my shelf unread since then. Even though the title makes it sound like a children's book, it is in fact an enjoyable piece of travel-writing, by an English journalist/author called Eric Newby. This, one of several he has written, describes his journey across the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1977, accompanied by his wife, a German photographer, and a Soviet guide. I thought it was very well-written, [...]

    10. An account of travelling from Moscow to Vladivostock on the Trans-Siberian Express train in 1964. The author was accompanied by his wife (who features in the anecdotes) and a minder from the the Soviet travel agency, who organised educational trips for him and other foreign travellers at the towns at which they disembark. the observations about the train, the other passengers and the cities they visit are interspersed with extracts from other travellers' accounts from the late medieval period to [...]

    11. Newby is a bit off his game in this account of a trip across the Soviet Union by train in the 1970s. He keeps me reading because I know I'll find some nuggets of remarkable description if I persist, but these are widely-spaced between long periods of not much. Also, too much padding with random historical facts drawn from dull books.

    12. Boring. I took it to read on the Trans-Siberian Express, since that is what it's about, but Bob and I each read the first 30 pages and set it aside. Sounded like an amateur writer. It's also somewhat out-dated.

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