Vitali’s Ireland offers a unique perspective on 21st century Irish cultural identity, delivered in a style rich with his typical sardonic wit.
Ukrainian-born Vitali Vitaliev, an award-winning travel writer and journalist, uses his outsider’s perspective to recount his Irish adventures. A renowned cultural observer, he muses on the nation’s quirks and stereotypes, whilst his reference to mid-19th century guide books provides an insightful historical comparison. The result is an affectionate if slightly perplexed portrait of a nation in transition.
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“This is a book that will perplex and infuriate some but appear quite humorous to others . . . Eccentric guide to a land of contradictions . . . A rather eclectic mixture of farce, travel guide and personal observation . . . This book should be required reading for those executives who run our tourist authorities.”Colin Lenihan, Minister for Integration, in The Irish Times“Slightly eccentric and highly enjoyable . . . Slightly cranky, sometimes bewildered, often meandering back across his life and generally highly entertaining, Vitali’s Ireland is very much an outsider’s look into our country. If he doesn’t know what to make of us, it is maybe because he is viewing us at a junction where we don’t know what to make of ourselves.”Dermot Bolger, in Sunday Business“Vitali is big hearted, broad minded and smart as a whip . . . A Ukranian-born Russian exile whose worldwide perambulations have produced a string of fine, intelligent works of idiosyncratic reportage, this somewhat unusual visitor offers a valuable gift to us Irish readers: The outside perspective . . . Vitaliev wanders the 32 counties like some kind of gormless, amiable pilgrim, half-Mr Bean, half-Socrates. . . . (His) observations on the folly of the Northern conflict are heartbreaking in their simplicity and world-weary resignation . . . I could fill this paper with quotable extracts”Hugh Tynan, in the Irish Examiner Weekend