Moskou is a madhouse

November 15, 2006

Publishing house Conserve in Schoorl (Holland) just presented the book Moskou is een gekkenhuis (Moscow is a madhouse) written by Peter d'Hamecourt, correspondent of the Dutch and Belgium broadcasting companies in Moscow. It's a must for anyone who wants to learn to know the city of The Master and Margarita. Onthe radio d'Hamecourt is a very good story teller and in his entertaining style he describes Moscow as a city for the Muscovites, in which foreigners are only tolerated - great, compelling, extravagant and one of the most expensive cities in the world. Peter d'Hamecourt starts in hotel National, and talks about the Kremlin, the pachepeans and the delapitation of historical spots, the metro, the restaurants and the nightlife, the parks and the culture. Paying attention to both the good and the bad aspects.

In an interview met 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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