Moscow is a madhouse

English > News > November 15, 2006

November 15, 2006

The Publishing house Conserve from Schoorl (Holland) just presented the book Moskou is een gekkenhuis (Moscow is a madhouse) written by Peter d'Hamecourt, correspondant of the Flemish and Dutch radio in Moscow. It's a must for anyone who wants to learn to know the city of the Master and Margarita. On the radio d'Hamecourt is a very good story teller and in his amusing style he presents Moscow as a city for the Muscovites, in which the foreigners are only tolerated - big, exciting, extravagant and one of the most expensive cities in the world. Peter d' Hamecourt starts his tour in the hotel National and he talks of the Kremlin, the pachepeans and the delapitation of historical spots, the metro, the restaurants and the night life, the parks and the culture. And he observes both to the good and the poor aspects.

In an interview with Remco Reiding the author says: "The city is continuously assaulted but in one way or another Moscow always survives. Whatever you do to the city, people keep loving it.“ Which is not only true for the Muscovites. Interested visitors can't escape neither from its strange attraction: "For example, when I step from the plane in Amsterdam I have the feeling of being released from a sanctuary. But the wish to return is, strange enough, always stronger than the impulse to say goodbye forever." A familiar feeling which I share entirely. It's Bulgakov's spirit.

Just one minus for the pictures. In the chapter where d'Hamecourt writes about the restaurants for instance, he publishes a photo of Старая башня (The Old Tower), once one of my favourite places. But if you want to go there, you will find the doors closed. Since some years it is "temporarily closed due to technical reasons". Which is also typical for Moscow, of course... But anyway: a must!

Moskou is een gekkenhuis
Peter d'Hamecourt
Schoorl, Published by Conserve, 199 p., 17,00 €
ISBN 9054292288

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