Stalin's Nose : Across the Face of Europe, Paperback

Stalin's Nose : Across the Face of Europe Paperback

2 out of 5 (1 rating)


In Rory MacLean's groundbreaking debut travel book, Winston the pig drops on to Uncle Peter's head and kills him dead.

Unwilling to be left alone in her house Aunt Zita, a faded Austrian aristocrat and a vivacious eccentric, hijacks her nephew and, together with Winston, sets out on one last ride.

The Berlin Wall has fallen only weeks before and Zita is determined to reach across the reopened borders and rediscover her remarkable east European family.In a rattling Trabant the unlikely trio puff and wheeze across the changing continent, following the threads of memory.

Zita's relations - the angel of Prague, the Hungarian grave digger who buried Stalin's nose, a dying Romanian propagandist - help tie together the loose ends of her life.

They picnic at Auschwitz. They meet Lenin's embalmer. They carry a long-lost corpse over the Carpathian mountains.

Through war and revolution, decay and regeneration, "Stalin's Noseis" a surreal and darkly comic ride and a portrait of Europe like no other.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 232 pages, map
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Travel writing
  • ISBN: 9781845116231



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 1 of 1 reviews.

Review by

Not sure about this. It's certainly an amusing travel book. The author writes of his travels in Eastern Europe shortly after the fall of the Wall in a Trabant with his recently widowed aunt whose husband was a senior KGB official involved in all the crucial post-war events in the region accompanied by a pet pig. Or so he tells us. It soon becomes apparent that we are reading a set of weary anecdotes displaying familiar views of the old Soviet Bloc. The author himself seems to weary of the device he created as he puts himself and his aunt on a train to Moscow to celebrate Victory Day 1987 having left Romania in 1989. He certainly runs out of steam as the book progresses. Take away the novelty of his companions and the book turns into a well worn set of clichés.

Also by Rory MacLean   |  View all