Books

  • The Bumper Book of Vitali’s Travels
    Thirty Years of Globe-Trotting (1990 – 2020) As travel remains impossible for many of us because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Bumper Book of Vitali’s Travels allows us to travel vicariously, to explore virtually, to follow along as Vitali delves into places both well-known and entirely obscure, some of which Vitali himself was the first to discover – from his first trip outside the USSR, when he took a train from Moscow to Britain, to a final journey to a Slovenian/Italian town just as lockdown started to shutter Europe in March 2020. Award-winning writer Vitali Vitaliev has been exploring the… Continue reading The Bumper Book of Vitali’s Travels
  • Out of the blu
    Viktor and Katherine Petroff return from a short holiday in Majorca to find somebody is in their house. Meanwhile, Victor and Catherine Petrov return from a short holiday in Majorca and on the way home suffer a minor traffic collision. At the same time, Victor and Katherine Petrovas are involved in a major car crash and are killed outright. Three near identical couples. Two have slipped through the cracks from other universes. Trapped in a world which is almost – but not quite – like their own, they must work together to figure out how they travelled the multiverse to… Continue reading Out of the blu
  • Granny Yaga
    “Granny Yaga’ follows the switchback adventures of a boy called Danya (Danny), born in Eastern Europe, but now living in north London where the local she-dragons are notorious fighters, and any alert passer-by can spot Granny herself flying low over the British Museum. Danny becomes Granny’s aide-de-camp in a life-or-death duel with the demon Koshchei, fought out on the London underground, in disused stations, boarded-up houses and the enchanted skies over Crouch End, with back-up from the relatively orthodox magic of Yesterdayland (huts on chicken legs, talking cats, self-catering tablecloths) and the realpolitik of its neighbouring Soviet satellite, a land… Continue reading Granny Yaga
  • Life as a Literary Device
    A Memoir of survival Vitali Vitaliev is used to journeys and in this book he takes us as a companion on a journey of time and space- dozens of countries over two decades- and a journey of the mind. He is a great companion. By turns wry, tragic, and laugh-out-loud funny, in the end he delivers a tour-de-force of warmth and humanity. The stream of consciouness structure creates links between places and people- Tasmania and Clive James, London and Peter Ustinov- that scintilate with wit and wisdom. He meets his triumphs and disasters and eventually treats those two imposters just… Continue reading Life as a Literary Device
  • Passport to Enclavia
    Travels in search of a European identity What does it mean to be European? The answer lies not in Brussels, but in Europe’s forgotten enclaves – tiny fragments of one country cut off and completely surrounded by another. Stuck for centuries between two different cultures, currencies and (at times) languages, each is resplendent with idiosyncrasies. An enclave all of his own, Vitaliev, a Ukrainian-born Russian Jew with Australian and British citizenships, set out on a personal quest to find out what really defines the continent, just as a uniform European identity – in the guise of the Euro – was… Continue reading Passport to Enclavia
  • Vitali’s Ireland
    The famous guidebook writer and publisher, Karl Baedeker, never visited Ireland. But many of his contemporaries did. Using a selection of these old books, Vitaliev retraces their steps and reports on twenty-first century Ireland, in the age of the Celtic Tiger, contrasted with the island a century ago. Vitali Vitaliev is a vastly experienced travel writer and a man who understands exile and displacement. His portrait of Ireland is affectionate and slightly perplexed. He does not hesitate to note the litter, the lousy food in many places, the shabbiness and lack of grooming, the ridiculous expense of simple things. He… Continue reading Vitali’s Ireland
  • Border’s Up!
    Eastern Europe Through the Bottom of a Glass One Could assume that with the collapse of Communism, Eastern Europeans would drink less than before. Surely democracy can offer many more means of escape than alcohol? After all there are high quality consumer goods, a free press, foreign travel … even the spice Girls? The reality however is very different. In BORDERS UP! Vitali Vitaliev travels to Hungry, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania in an attempt to find out why drinking in post-Communist Eastern Europe has increased dramatically since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Why is it… Continue reading Border’s Up!
  • Dreams on Hitler’s couch
    Vitali Vitaliev was hounded out of the USSR by the KGB in the early 1990s and here he describes coming to terms with life outside the Soviet Union. It is a witty account of how he deals with Soho night-life, Tazmanian elections, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and buying a Western suit.
  • Little is the light
    Nostalgic travels in the mini-states of Europe Four years after his escape from the Soviet Union in 1990, award-winning journalist and author Vitali Vitaliev went in search of surviving pockets of freedom, autonomy and self-government. He found eleven countries, each with a population of less than half a million, each one of them beautiful and each one described in this book with sparkling humour, wisdom, and an unmatchable sense of irony. His travels take him to Liechtenstein, San Marino, Mount Athos, the Isle of Man, Luxembourg, the Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Andorra, Malta, Monaco and Seborga, and for some of his… Continue reading Little is the light
  • The Third Trinity
    Set in the Soviet Union around the time of the infamous coup of August 1991, the story centres on the discovery of a priceless icon: a third version of the Old Testament Trinity by Russia’s greatest icon painter, the Black Monk, Andrei Roublev.
  • Vitali’s Australia
    A collection of articles from Melbourne’s ‘The Age’ newspaper, where these pieces were first published. Vitaliev brings a Russian perspective to experiences as diverse as Saturday night at St Kilda police station to crossing the Nullabor.
  • Dateline Freedom
    Revelations of an unwilling exile Vitali’s fearless journalism made him a national hero in the USSR, as well as a sitting target for the criminals he has helped to convict. In this book he investigates the continuing miscarriages of justice – punitive psychiatry, labour camps, rampant anti-semitism, lack of food, violence in the Baltic Republics – with the contention that it is still the same corrupt communist system, just under a new dictator, Gorbachev. Fearing for his life and after continuing attempts by the KGB to recruit him to spy for them, Vitali also records in full his desparate last… Continue reading Dateline Freedom
  • Special Correspondent
    Investigating in the Soviet Union In the late 1980s, Vitali Vitaliev investigates Mafia-organized crime, prostitution (which does not “officially” exist), corrupt special shops for the party elite, and the Leningrad Fascist movement. It is an account of what has been happening inside the world’s largest Communist state, and the wind of change that has come with Yeltsin and Gorbachev. This book is written as part autobiography and part drama, by the Soviet Union’s journalist of the year.