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The Companion Guide to St Petersburg by Kyril Zinovieff, Jenny Hughes (Paperback, 2003)

There are several collections of his essays, poems and conversations available in English. Among his 15 symphonies, 15 string quartets, 3 operas, six concertos and the scores for dozens of Soviet movies, it is his 7th Symphony, the Leningrad, which serves as his finest memorial. St Petersburg also features in works of contemporary fiction by Russian and foreign authors alike. Fans of historical detective fiction will enjoy the stories of Boris Akunin, many of which are set in late Tsarist St Petersburg and Moscow and have been made into Russian-language films and translated into English.

Coetzee wrote an appropriately dark and complex novel based on Dostoevsky and elements of his life, The Master of Petersburg.


Ghostwritten, the first novel by acclaimed British author David Mitchell, includes a rather lurid chapter about art theft set in the Hermitage. Rather more serious historical fiction can be found in Eva Stanchiak's The Winter Palace, a fictional account of the rise of Catherine the Great. Finally, look out for Red Plenty by Francis Spufford, a fictional work which reads like history set in the brief period in post-war Soviet Union when it looked as though the communist dream might in fact become reality.

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Of course they start to date from the moment they hit the stands, but can provide useful background. More quirky is the Wallpaper City Guide. For Russian speakers, look out for the Afisha and Orange guides which can be purchased locally. For some reason the Blue Guide to Moscow and St Petersburg has not been published since the early s, which is a great shame. A beautiful reminder of your trip to St Petersburg would be the coffee-table volume Petersburg Perspectives, published by Fontanka press in the UK, which presents beautiful photography together with thoughtful essays on the city by leading authors.

We are also looking forward to the publication of the CityPick guide to St Petersburg, due later in But our favourite guide, small enough to fit in your pocket yet containing details not to be found anywhere else, is The Companion Guide to St Petersburg by Kyril Zinovieff and Jenny Hughes. Last published in , there are not many contemporary guides whose authors are as knowledgeable and witty as Kyril Zinovieff, born to a wealthy aristocratic family in St Petersburg before the Revolution.

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He shares many family anecdotes and reminscences which will leave an utterly charming impression: such and such a building was where his aunts used to entertain, or this palace was where his forefathers studied engineering, and so on. The best line has to be: "My sister and I may be two of the last people still alive to have seen Rasputin". Truly unique! I read about Moscow a lot, I like its ancient charming streets, museums, sights and have a fancy for its history, and I know for sure-you may love its special beauty, you may hate its traffic jams and hurry, but this city leaves nobody indifferent and makes a deep impression on everybody!

Not knowing the city I booked a tour and chose Olga as my guide.

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I'm so glad I did! Olga was a great companion for the day; knowledgeable, fun and enthusiastic! She made me feel really comfortable and I saw everything that I wanted to, plus the Moscow Arts Theatre after we discovered a mutual love of theatre and Stanislavski! I would definitely recommend the tour and especially Olga. Submit Search.

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The Companion Guide to St Petersburg (Paperback or Softback)

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