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Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volume II Hardcover – June 1, 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

This completely mind-blowing book told us what the tattoos meant, and how they could become central to the movie. -- David Cronenberg. Director, Eastern Promises (2007)

About the Author

Baldaev was born in 1925 in Ulan-Ude, Buryatiya, Russia.

Plutser-Sarno was born in 1962 in Moscow. He is a leading contemporary Russian scholar, who graduated from the Department of History and Literature of Philosophy, Tartu University, Estonia.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Fuel Publishing (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955006120
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955006128
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,586 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Bucky VINE VOICE on August 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
and you'll begin to get an idea of the contents of this amazing book. The "Vory v zakone" (literally "thieves in law")are Russia's criminal underworld and their existence dates back to the days of Tsarist prisons. They have their own elaborate set of laws, their own culture, and each thief's professional resume is tattooed on his body.

The author of this book, a former Russian prison guard, spent years documenting these tattoos and unraveling their meanings, and in the process has created a fascinating cultural history. Be forewarned, however, these tattoos are not like anything you've probably ever seen before, even in the American prison system. Many of them are quite shocking in their sexual detail and depiction of violence. Some of these tattoos were forcibly applied to the wearers' bodies, as punishment for reneging on gambling debts, serving as an informant, or other infractions of the thieves' code. This is not a book you'll want to let your kids get ahold of, as most of the "art" depicted is quite repellent. But it's a glimpse into a world most people didn't even know existed until the arrival of the Russian mob in the US and the release of movies like "Eastern Promises."

From my perspective, I'm glad that most of the tattoos are drawings, not photographs. It makes it easier to see some of the fine details in the tattoos. If you have an interest in crime and the criminal underworld, this book makes for a fascinating read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This volume must have gone out of print earlier than I or III, as I recall it being prohibitively expensive when I bought the others several years back. I'm glad it's available again, as I found the non-pictorial content here far surpassed that available in the other volumes. The map of the camps made me instantly realize why Solzhenitsyn named his masterpiece "The Gulag Archipelago".
Be forewarned that the body art reproduced here could be considered very offensive by some as well as pornographic.
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This may be a good book- but it is extremely explicit, which I was unaware of. I bought it as a gift and did not realize, and it cause considerable embarrassment. Just be aware that it is extremely explicit, with photos of genitals etc.
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By 🐙 on December 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Shipped quickly and really excited to get this product for my boyfriend. Evidently there were not many prints in the past few years so I couldn't get the next volume in the set for him (it was running around $130) Really excited to see more prints out and a reasonable price. Product came new in plastic wrap, he loved it!
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More of the same. If you could only buy one of the three volumes I'd recommend the first. If you could only buy two I would get volume 1 and 3.

That doesn't make this a bad book, just the worst of the three.
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My son-on-law is a graphics design professional artist and also has interest in tattoo design though he does not even have a single tattoo himself. These books were on his wish list and they complete the 3-book set. He loves them.
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By C.D. on April 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent photos and artwork with clear, concise explanations. An excellent collector's item, but not really a suggested "coffee table" book. There's quite a bit of nudity, graphic political and sexual imagery, and one heaping dose of harsh reality.
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Thi book is a rare look into a long hidden world of russian prison and criminal subculter. There photos and drawings by Danzig B. with descrip
tions and explanations of the coded images that Tell a mans history good or bad.
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