This is a frustrating book. In 2007 Jacek Hugo-Bader, a writer on the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, spent four months driving from Moscow to Vladivostok in a beat-up Lazhik, an old-fashioned, well-loved model of Soviet jeep. He was alone, it was winter, and 3,000 of the journey’s 13,000 kilometres were over dirt roads.
From this unarguably epic experience he gives us a series of lightly edited interviews with people he met on the way. In Moscow, he hangs out with superannuated hippies – ‘shaggies’ in Russian slang – and with