Book Review: Strange Telescopes in Moscow

There are ever more travel narratives coming out of Russia, and Strange Telescopes: Following the Apocalypse from Moscow to Siberia, the new book by Daniel Kalder, is certainly one of the more unusual ones – in fact the “strange” of the title is definitely an apt adjective.

51q4moih8yl_sl500_aa240_The opening prologue of Strange Telescopes is curious and you might wonder whether you are holding a story of travel or a cultish self-help book, but whichever the case, you do get a book that tells of all kinds of novel experiences across Moscow (and even under it). Kalder was living in Moscow when he heard about “the Diggers”, people who were allegedly living (literally) underground in Moscow, in a secret world variously thought to be a hidden metro line for government officials or an enormous KGB underground bunker. He decided to explore these theories and that’s how Strange Telescopes evolved.

This book reads at times like a suspense novel and at others like a cultural travelogue; it does give you an insight into sides of Russia and Russians that most of us will never come across even if we do make a trip to Moscow and beyond – but it will certainly make you see what you experience there with different eyes.
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