Review: The Long Song of Tchaikovsky Street is a charming and disarming trip through Russia's history

By Gordon Peake
April 15 2022 - 2:00pm
Author Pieter Waterdrinker. Picture: Supplied
  • The Long Song of Tchaikovsky Street, by Pieter Waterdrinker. Scribe, $35.

An octogenarian aristocrat cooped up in a decrepit Soviet madhouse, doctors requiring bribes before even considering treating patients, the wife of a Russian president touring Amsterdam's red-light district, lust-driven physicists embezzling foreign aid programs, the mad monk Rasputin. These are just a handful of the memorable characters Pieter Waterdrinker draws in his idiosyncratic, darkly humorous, captivating blend of memoir, history, and reportage that spans Russia's last century.



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