February books 7) Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry

7) Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry, by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch (see also the website)

“the definitive guide to one of Eastern Europe’s most overlooked destinations.” “Once known only by war historians and Soviet drug runners, this landlocked republic is now being discovered by the discerning traveller. And this latest Jetlag guide offers all you need to know about getting there, getting around and safely escaping the forgotten jewel that is Molvania.”

Those who work (as I do) on the post-Communist world will at first be surprised that they have not previously heard of Molvania. But so much of it seems strangely familiar…

“Staff are attentive, although the service can be a little brusque. One traveller reported asking the concierge where he could find a non-smoking room, only to be informed ‘Austria’.”

This book was apparently the publishing hit of the summer over Christmas in Australia, and was produced by the same team who wrote The Dish, the beautiful film about Australia’s contribution to the first moon landing. OK, so it’s a one-joke book, but they’ve kept it up successfully for 166 pages. And the funny thing is that even the genuine Eastern Europeans I’ve shown it to thought it was hilarious rather than offensive.

One thought on “February books 7) Molvania: A Land Untouched by Modern Dentistry

  1. Well, you made the initial assertion that “There were few actual hyphenated surnames in England until the nineteenth century, none found in Tudor times in the theater. Its only use in that context was to baldly hint that an unnamed someone lurked behind the contrivance: Tom Tell-Truth, William Shake-Speare.” But if you wish to retract it, as I think you do above, that’s OK.

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