June 26, 2006

"Off the Map"

Bicycling Across Siberia
by Mark Jenkins

From authors website:
Off the Map details the first coast-to-coast crossing of Siberia by bicycle, a 5-month, 7500-mile journey that put Jenkins into the Guinness Book of Sports Records. Off the Map was described by Kirkus Review as a "feisty, sometimes brilliant first book with a leaping, impulsive prose." USA Today called Off the Map "a literary epic" and Newsweek critic Malcolm Jones Jr. declared "the ornery, observant Jenkins good company on every page." Robert Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance , wrote: "Jenkins is a master of the fundamental writer's talent: an ability to see things in new ways, as no one has ever seen them before." Off the Map was excerpted in Reader's Digest (ten foreign language editions) Bicycling, Summit and Great Expeditions, was translated into Dutch, German and Japanese and published in paperback.

My Review:
Mark was part of the first American/Soviet group to bike across the 'entire' country in 1989. The story mainly describes the first half of the trip across a desolate landscape with Americans Mark, Tom, & Torie, along with Soviets Tanya, Natasha, Pavel & Fyodor. An eclectic story that touched me like few can.

Other books by Mark Jenkins:
The Hard Way
To Timbuktu

Links: TheHardWay.com (author's website)