The Wolf's Path (L'Axe du Loup)
by Sylvain Tesson
Published in 2004 by Editions Robert Laffont. 277 pages long.
A classic from France's best-known travel writer.
In 2003 Sylvain Tesson spent 215 days travelling from Siberia to India, on foot, by bicycle and on horseback, inspired by The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz, the best-selling, much-debated 1956 book about an escape from a Soviet gulag and the journey south to freedom in India. The Wolf’s Path is Tesson’s account of his own journey loosely following Rawicz’ path. He writes of the people he meets on the way: people with gulag experience, Russians carving out a vodka-fuelled life in desolate conditions, the opinionated fellow travellers he encounters; we witness the wonder of the landscape and fauna around him, and appreciate both his passion for, and exasperation with, Russia, a country he knows well. A unique blend of rhetoric, contemplation, empathy and comedy, and a great read.