A Daily Express Book of the Year
'Engrossing ... grips you and doesn't let go.' The Spectator
'Waterdrinker's gift for savage comedy and his war correspondent's eye have few contemporary equivalents.' The Times
A thrilling escapade through the Soviet Union of the '90s and early 2000s by a tour guide turned smuggler turned novelist, that tells the unputdownable story of modern Russia.
One day, in 1988, a priest knocks on Pieter Waterdrinker's door with an unusual request: will he smuggle seven thousand bibles into the Soviet Union? Pieter agrees, and soon finds himself living in the midst of one of the biggest social and cultural revolutions of our time, working as a tour operator ... with a sideline in contraband. During the next thirty years, he witnesses, and is sometimes part of, the seismic changes that transform Russia into the modern state we know it as today.
This riveting blend of memoir and history provides startling insight into the emergence of one of the world's most powerful and dangerous countries, as well as telling a nail-biting, laugh-out-loud adventure story that will leave you on the edge of your seat.