Down The Volga


Down the Volga in a Time of Troubles: A Journey Through Post-Perestroika Russia was published in 1990 (by HarperCollins and Viking). The book was written after Gorbachev’s perestroika was launched but before the accession of the lamentable Boris Yeltsin and the long decline into cowboy capitalism and then Putinism. It recounts a journey through Mother Russia in the company of a ragtag bunch of Moscow journalists, in a boat somewhat mysteriously acquired …

The Globe and Mail has this to say: “De Villiers has a fine sense of irony and  an eye for the absurd, talents that enable him to capture in words the essence of the Russian soul.” Publishers Weekly, for its part, said it was “… a serious-minded, probing, knowledgeable report on heartland Russia today …” While Kirkus Reviews called it “a rich and deeply sympathetic look into parts of Mother Russia rarely visited by tourists.”