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Stalin's Nose: Across the Face of Europe Paperback – June 10, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Tauris Parke Paperbacks; Reprint edition (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845116232
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845116231
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,960,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

‘A minor masterpiece of comic surrealism.’ –The Times

"Crazy, charming, a delight." --John le Carré

"Eccentric, amusing and chilling."--The Economist

"The best book I’ve read for a long time." --John Wells

"As an allegory it is powerful and frequently moving. As a tale it is tremendous fun. It is also a thing of beauty.'" --Jan Morris

"The most extraordinary debut in travel writing since In Patagonia. A park, sardonic and brilliant book which grows in stature with every page." --William Dalrymple

"The wittiest, most surreal travel writing of recent years." --Frank Delaney

"A truly wonderful writer who has delved into the human condition around the world for two decades to create a canon of work that is invigorating, heartbreaking, hilarious, slyly seditious and ultimately illuminating." --Toronto Sun

"There is pathos—and adventure—in spades…Stalin’s Nose is an essential companion for anyone travelling to a part of the world still recovering from the horrors of the giant confidence trick that was communism." --Financial Times

"It is a painful book of bitter old ages, or lives which have had their meanings repeatedly declared void. It is very hard and very good." --Guardian

"MacLean is…the only major travel writer of his generation who is still exclusively and self-consciously a literary writer about travel.  He is also one of the best around." --William Dalrymple, Prospect

About the Author

Rory Maclean was born and educated in Canada. His book include best-sellers Stalin's Nose and Under the Dragon, He has won the Yorkshire Post Best First Work prize and an Arts Council Writers' Award, was twice shortlisted for the Thomas Cook/Daily Telegraph Travel Book Prize and was nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award. Born and educated in Canada, he lives with his family in Dorset.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk on March 7, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am informed that this is "travel writing" and in his preface Colin Thubron tells me that this an innovative piece of travel literature breaking new ground by being a blend of fiction and fact.... Excuse me.... am I missing something here? This is a work of fiction in which the hero, his aunt and her pig travel through Eastern Europe at the time of the great changes that took place when the Berlin Wall came down. So it's fiction set in a real time and real places... Doesn't a lot of literature fall into this category?
So it's a story and once you realise that this isn't really a piece of travel writing, since there are very few bits where we get a description of the place, then what you find you have is a very amusing story with a fascinating cast of dysfunctional and woe-begotten characters. Our hero (we never learn his name but it sure as hell ISN'T Rory) gets a call from his rather domineering Aunt Zita to inform him that his Uncle Peter (a former key player in the Soviet takeover of the Eastern Block) has been killed by his pet pig, Winston, who fell on him. Apparently this wouldn't have happened if they hadn't taken the wall down in the first place. Winston has run off with Zita's dentures and mislaid them but you can, apparently get good replacements in Budapest! Zita then railroads her nephew into a road trip visiting friends and relatives on the way. Many of these friends and relatives turn out to be former Communists or collaborators - or just plain dysfunctional individuals, beginning to adjust to a post-Communist world itself adjusting to new, as yet undetermined, circumstances.
The whole is a genuinely amusing but also thought-provoking story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By G. Robinson on October 10, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hilarious satire and travelogue about post iron curtain eastern Europe as seen by the author, his east European aunt, and her pig. I lent it to so many people that eventually it didn't come back. Being out of print and unavailable on kindle I recently replaced it with a used copy. One of those books that you look forward to reading several times. Thoroughly enjoyable, and educational too: I had no idea how flexible pre war European borders were and how much people moved across them.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An interesting and at times hilarious account of a trip through eastern Europe. Initially purchased because Rory MacLean received good reviews of his new book "Berlin" which I haven't yet gotten to. In general, found "Stalin"s Nose" worth reading for its insights of the times and cultures of the various countries which the author and his aunt covered until reaching Moscow.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. R. M. Tarleton on March 23, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A bit confusing at times but generally an interesting read. No your typical travel book, Personally I preferred under the dragon
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More About the Author

Rory MacLean is one of Britain's most innovative non-fiction authors. His ten books, including UK best-sellers 'Stalin's Nose' and 'Under the Dragon', have challenged and invigorated travel writing, and ­ according to the late John Fowles ­ are among works that 'marvellously explain why literature still lives'. During his research journeys, MacLean walked through the newly-opened Berlin Wall, met Aung San Suu Kyi in Rangoon and interviewed Pashtun elders at the Kacha Garhi refugee camp after the destruction of the World Trade Center.

His books have won awards from the Canada Council and the Arts Council of England, were shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Travel Book Prize and nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an active member of English PEN. He has also written and presented over 50 programmes for BBC radio and worked on movies with David Bowie and Marlene Dietrich. Born in Canada, long resident in the UK, he now lives in Berlin.

http://www.rorymaclean.com/