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20 November 2018

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Book Review

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City Pick: St. Petersburg

Heather Reyes, Marina Samsonova, James Rann, eds. (Oxygen Books, $10.75)

If you want a travel guide with neat little lists of places to see, things to do, restaurants to try, this is not for you. This is a different sort of travel guidebook altogether. In fact, it’s not really a guidebook at all, more a literary and cultural map of the Venice of the North – a collection of writings by over 60 western and Russian authors (mostly non-fiction, but there is a healthy dose of fiction as well), all related to this incredible city.

The well-selected readings are curated and bridged together with nice, short introductory texts, and the organization is somewhat chronological, though it is the sort of smorgasbord of offerings that one can dip into at any point, follow the thread for a while, and then hop to another section.

Soon enough, you’ll be making your own “must see” notes in the margin and, before you know it, you will have one of those travel guides filled with little lists...

— Paul E. Richardson

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Reviewed in Russian Life: Mar/Apr 2013