Even if you're not currently planning a trip to Central Asia, this book will change your mind
A road trip dotted with curious incidents, thought-provoking observations and absurd stories, from culinary disasters to snapshots of everyday life under a dictatorship. A fine mingling of facts and the observations of a true travel writer
Fatland really knows her subject and writes with conviction. After her thoughtful writing on Beslan and the massacre on Utøya, there was every reason to have huge expectations. They have been more than fulfilled.
This talented narrator has compiled a book of timeless stories. Social anthropologist Erika Fatland has intertwined her encounters with well-researched digressions in history, politics and geography.
Now to be numbered among the best travel writers, the brilliant and intrepid Norwegian Erika Fatland has observed deserts, villages, metropolises and mountains to bring back a jewel of a story of adventure, intermingled histories, geography, geology, culture and politics.
This is another Asia visited by the Norwegian Erika Fatland . . . countries of contrasts, of extreme wealth and the madness of dictators who build white marble cities in the desert
[A] mesmerising trip across central Asia . . . All credit to Erika Fatland, who may have titled her central Asian travelogue Sovietistan, but who treats each with care and attention. Part diary, part sociopolitical analysis . . . A fascinating travelogue
Engaging . . . The reader learns a lot about all kinds of subjects.
Reminiscent of Ryszard Kapuscinski's The Shadow of the Sun, Sovietistan blends complex history with Fatland's own clear-eyed reporting, the devastation of the Soviet era always in the background (and sometimes the foreground)
An introduction to a deeply misunderstood part of the world...the complexity and beauty of this region are best represented when she goes back in time. Fatland has a level of access most outsiders would never have.