Lake Baikal in south-central Russia is 394 miles long; it is the largest freshwater lake in Eurasia and the world"s deepest with a maximum known depth of 5,712 feet. Thomson and his brother traveled there from Boston in October 2000 in what turned out to be a 20,000-mile journey by train, cargo ship, and rubber raft. He offers a brief history of the region and describes the fish, nerpa seals, deer, and wolves they encountered; but most interesting of their encounters were the villagers they met. At one point, three women invited them to a meal of fish, onions, potatoes, meat, egg and ham salad, honey, jam, bread, pancakes, mushrooms, pickles, and beets! Plus, there was homemade vodka (come on, you need something to drink to accompany all of that food, right?). Traveling through woods, streams, hills, mountains, and pristine lakes, they had quite a voyage, and this in-depth recapitulation is absorbing in its detail.
&3150; George Cohen
©2007 American Library Association