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Behind Putin’s Curtain

Behind Putin’s Curtain

Author(s): Stephan Orth

Location(s): Russia

Genre(s): Travelogue

Era(s): Modern

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“In the late summer of 2016,” writes award-winning travel writer Stephan Orth, “a journey to Russia feels like visiting enemy territory.”

In this humorous and thought-provoking book, Orth ventures through that vast and mysterious territory to uncover the real, unfiltered Russia not seen in today’s headlines: authentic, bizarre, dangerous, and beautiful. Sidestepping the well-trod tourist path, he travels the country from Moscow to Vladivostok—across seven time zones and almost 9,500 kilometers—making stops in Chechnya, Saint Petersburg, Siberia, and beyond. Staying with an eclectic array of hosts, he bumps into gun nuts, Internet conspiracy theorists, faux shamans, and Putin fans; learns to drive in death-defying Russian style; and discovers how to cure hangovers by sniffing rye bread. But he also sees a darker side of the country, witnessing firsthand the effects of Putin’s influence in the run-up to the 2016 American election and the power of propaganda in this “post-fact” era.
Weaving everything together with thoughtfulness and warmth, Orth follows the acclaimed Couchsurfing in Iran with yet another complex, funny, and personal travelogue—a colorful portrait of a fascinating and misunderstood country.

Weaving everything together with thoughtfulness and warmth, Orth follows the acclaimed Couchsurfing in Iran with yet another complex, funny, and personal travelogue—a colorful portrait of a fascinating and misunderstood country.

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Lead Review

Author: tripfiction

Stephan Orth is a Hamburg based journalist and world traveller. He has twice won the prestigious Columbus Award for travel writing, and his previous book Couchsurfing in Iran was translated into several languages. He specialises...

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Enter the inaugural TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

750 - 3000 words with strong 'sense of place' theme

Short story, travelogue, or memoir

Top judges to decide the winners

Cash prizes totalling £500 / $600 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 15th November 2020