A famous Russian geographer, geologist etc., records three expeditions into Eastern Siberia. Vivid descriptions of natural conditions and inhabitants of faraway areas, almost half a century ago form the background for Arseniev's friendship with Dersu, learned in the lore of nature. From diaries come tales of storms, blizzards, typhoons, hunting, tracking, man against nature, encounters with Russian, Chinese, Manchurians and Koreans; observation of birds, animals, plants and trees. Dersu is driven to the unfamiliar city by approaching blindness, but civilization is not for him and he chooses instead his wilderness and death. Specialized sort of travel book, with added interest for natural history student.