Reviews

  • "This is an amazing journey, the ultimate quest for the oddest objects - pianos - in the most unlikely place - Siberia. But Sophy Roberts makes it much more than that, an elegant and nuanced journey through literature, through history, through music, murder and incarceration and revolution, through snow and ice and remoteness, to discover the human face of Siberia. I loved this book."

    Paul Theroux
  • "An exuberant, eccentric journey through Russian vastness, European history and Russian culture, The Lost Pianos of Siberia is a quixotic quest, a picaresque travel adventure and a strange forgotten story, all wrapped into one fascinating book."

    Simon Sebag-Montefiore, author of CATHERINE THE GREAT and POTEMKIN
  • "Courage, patience, erudition and a sympathetic imagination… A travel book of rare quality."

    Dervla Murphy
  • "A modern-day Freya Stark."

    Tatler
  • "The Lost Pianos of Siberia is one of those magical books that captures the imagination and draws you into the beauty and majesty of Siberia. Idiosyncratic in style – part travelogue, part history, part detective trail – it is full of wonderful stories about human endurance through adversity and the transformative power of music in the most remote and forgotten outposts of this vast territory. A book to savour and remember."

    Helen Rappaport, author of THE LAST DAYS OF THE ROMANOVS
  • "Utterly fascinating and revealing to anyone who only knows Siberia through its Great Myth as a forgotten, frozen Nowhere."

    Christopher Somerville
  • "A thrilling adventure to the ends of the earth, where sunlight glitters in the snowdrifts and the strains of the exile's song floats through the air. Pack your suitcases for Siberia - Sophy Roberts' gorgeous prose will summon you there like a smell."

    Cal Flyn, author of THICKER THAN WATER
  • "Absolutely intoxicating. Such vivid detail, rich atmosphere, heartbreak, and elegance. Sophy Roberts melds research and personal experience to trace the paths of political prisoners, convicts, and conscripts determined to find beauty in exile, and track down the regal pianos now scattered in villages, museums, and storehouses across the largest country on earth. Some cherished and some neglected, these pianos tell of the musical colonization of a continent, and their stories sing."

    Jonathan C. Slaght, author of OWLS OF THE EASTERN ICE
  • "Romance and tragedy, gulags and tower blocks, princes and oligarchs and of course tigers and pianos, Roberts captures all the wonder and heartbreak of an entire Empire in one feast of a book."

    Ben Rawlence, author of CITY OF THORNS and RADIO CONGO
  • "Utterly absorbing - a wonderful addition to the story of resilience, tragedy and triumph that are the hallmarks of Siberia. Roberts displays an empathy and understanding worthy of this deeply haunted, strangely fascinating land."

    Benedict Allen