Saturday 30 June 2012

Dervla Murphy, Through Siberia By Accident

dervla murphy through siberia by accident

The more books by Dervla Murphy I read, the more I like her.

Although Through Siberia By Accident almost lacks the 'Murphy trademark' - a bicycle - it still is a wonderful piece of storytelling.  It's a delightful mixture of travel memoir and social manifesto, generously spiced with background information on places visited.  Focused mainly on ordinary people and natural beauty, it can hardly fail to spark some wanderlust in the heart of even the most sedentary reader.

I, for one, immediately started dreaming of visiting Siberia one day.  It seems that it can still boast of huge unspoiled and underpopulated spaces, so I would love to experience this while it's still possible.  I probably wouldn't be as brave as Ms Murphy and wouldn't go alone, but even so, Siberia has officially made it to my own private 'Top Destinations' list.

I entertained a little fantasy when reading Through Siberia By Accident.  If I ever managed to arrive at Dervla Murphy's doorstep (after all, we live on the same, if large-ish, island), would she be willing to show me the photographs taken during her trips?   Judging by the stories, those pics must be something worth looking at.  I call not including them in the book a minor cruelty :).

When it comes to social/economical/political issues, Ms Murphy is wonderfully opinionated.  I consider this one of her most endearing characteristics, especially that her opinions are often heart-warmingly similar to mine.  Anti-militarism?  Yes, please.  Anti-commercialism?  Anytime!  Protecting natural resources from industrial invasion?  I'm in.  TV-free lifestyle?  I've never owned a TV set in my life.  I don't want to bore you with too long a list, it is enough to say that I could probably agree with most of her sentiments.

More books by Dervla Murphy coming soon.


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