From the best-selling author of It's All Greek to Me! comes a wild tale of life and business in the brave new Russia. John Mole went to seek his fortune in the New Russia revolution with his Big Idea of setting up British baked potato restaurants to rival McDonald's and Pizza Hut, and came back with the rights for a revolutionary biotechnology for cleaning air pollution. In between he tangled with fantasists and scientists, Stalinists and Tolkeinists, hopeful oligarchs and hopeless biznismyen, A"muggers and, finally, the mafia. Sometimes sinister, often hilarious and always fascinating, this book is a Russian feast from caviar to samovar.
In this funny travel memoir, entrepreneur Mole (It's All Greek to Me!) recounts his adventures as an "international development consultant" in post-Soviet Russia. Ever chasing the next "Big One," Mole finds himself hawking a stuffed baked potato fast food franchising scheme in the midst of an economic meltdown. Along with Russian pals Misha and Oleg, Mole learns that finding a decent potato in Russia is nearly as hard as securing financing there. Mole drinks, bluffs and bribes his way across missile bases, spud farms, and the business lecture circuit. While often witty, Mole, it becomes apparent, does sympathize with the various average Russians he meets struggling to make a living: one older woman from Yekaterinburg trying to sell a single possession-a left shoe; a biochemist dedicates his life "to one little bug" while working on a "couple of wooden tables, a few test tubes and other bits and pieces out of a decent chemistry set."