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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:TRAVEL
  • SubGenre:Russia
  • Language:English
  • Pages:240
  • eBook ISBN:9780976328834

The Gentleman from Finland

Adventures on the Trans-Siberian Express

by Robert M. Goldstein

Book Image Not Available
Overview
Two days aboard what he believes is the Trans-Siberian Express, the author discovers he’s on the wrong train. It is 1987, and he is traveling in the Soviet Union, holding a train ticket that mistakenly identifies him as a Finn. In fact, he is a short, swarthy Mexican-American-Russian-Jew, who speaks only enough Russian to proclaim that he is Bob, the tourist from America. As the trip unfolds, what begins as the fulfillment of a childhood dream becomes a journey with a cast of characters worthy of a Russian novel. A grim old woman takes his only pair of shoes. Mr. K., a tour director in Novosibirsk, is shocked when an actual tourist turns up during the middle of an ice storm. A beautiful Russian woman rescues the author from disaster in one city, only to mysteriously reappear in another, fueling his growing paranoia that she is a KGB agent. Throughout the story, Goldstein interjects historical anecdotes, as well as his own family’s past in czarist Russia. The Gentleman from Finland is a sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant story of the misadventures of a traveler who discovers that a journey on the world’s longest rail line is much more than just a big train ride.
Description
Two days aboard what he believes is the Trans-Siberian Express, the author discovers he’s on the wrong train. It is 1987, and he is traveling in the Soviet Union, holding a train ticket that mistakenly identifies him as a Finn. In fact, he is a short, dark-skinned Mexican-American-Russian-Jew, who speaks only enough Russian to proclaim that he is Bob, the tourist from America. As the trip unfolds, what begins as the fulfillment of a childhood dream becomes a journey with a cast of characters worthy of a Russian novel. A grim old woman takes his only pair of shoes. Mr. K., a tour director in Novosibirsk, is shocked when an actual tourist turns up during the middle of an ice storm. A beautiful Russian woman rescues the author from disaster in one city, only to mysteriously reappear in another, fueling his growing paranoia that she is a KGB agent. Throughout the story, Goldstein interjects historical anecdotes, as well as his own family’s past in czarist Russia. The Gentleman from Finland is a sometimes hilarious, sometimes poignant story of the misadventures of a traveler who discovers that a journey on the world’s longest rail line is much more than just a big train ride.
About the author
Robert Goldstein was born in Los Angeles, California, and raised in Santa Clara, California, where he graduated from Wilcox High School. After graduating from Oregon State University in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in Technical Journalism, he worked as a newspaper reporter for the Walla Walla Union Bulletin and the Bellevue Journal-American. In 1989, he received his master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Washington, and has held a variety of administrative posts in California and Washington since then. In his spare time, he has traveled extensively, and has published travel articles on Nepal, Bhutan, and China in the Seattle Times and Journal-American. Currently, he is the Chief Financial Officer of the Kitsap Regional Library. He lives in Seattle.
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