Available in print, e-books and iBook
buy from Books etc UK
buy from Amazon USA  UK
buy from Kindle USA  UK
buy from iTunes Buy
Paperback, 96 pages 178 x 110mm, £6.99
comments powered by Disqus

The Russians

By Vladimir Zhelvis

What makes the Russian RUSSIAN: A guide to understanding the Russians which goes behind the curtain of bearishness to reveal their emotional core.

Quote image
  Russians treat the law like a telegraph pole. You cannot jump over it, but you can go round it.  


  • ‘Written by a native Russian who has lived in diverse regions of Russia, this is a highly entertaining and interesting book for anyone interested in Russians as a people. The author views his countrymen with the unblinkered eyes of an observer who is wise to their ways. The Russians are shown to be shrewd, gregarious, sentimental and profoundly cynical. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.’
    Review from www.thereadersplace.com

  • ‘Lots of good (plus funny) stereotypes described about Russians throughout. Also, some regarding Russian ethnic groups, Russia’s regional neighbours, and Russian stereotypes about Westerners. Great read, very funny, yet informative!’
    Review from www.waytorussia.net/

  • ‘I found this slim volume entertaining and useful. It isn’t a language book but does explain various concepts e.g. dusha, toska, sudjba, terpenie, blat, khalyava, volya, etc. I don’t know if the book is reinforcing old stereotypes, but it feels current, is well set out and is wittily written by a Professor who was born before the war in Leningrad (as was) who now lives in Yarslavl.’                            Review from ‘Dave T’

  • ‘Being Russian, I cannot help noticing our drawbacks, so, hopefully, the book is sufficiently  objective and critical. But at the same time, I made every attempt to sound humorous. There is no room for gloom in my book.’               Interview with the author

  • ‘If you’ve been wondering what Russians are eating, drinking, traveling around in, and doing with their leisure time, this book is an excellent guide. You will also learn much about the Russian character: morals, customs, conduct, attitudes, government, culture, conversation.’      Review by wordswordswwords

If you would like to comment or submit a review on the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Russians please do so in the box to the right.


Links to make you laugh

Eleven Russian superstitions (we daren’t make it 13)








Facts you might not know about the Russians







About the author

Vladimir Ilyich Zhelvis lives in the ancient Russian city of Yaroslavl where he lectures to students at the local Pedagogical University.

Born in Leningrad, as St. Petersburg was called in Communist times, he was there during the German siege and famine, and just ten years-old when his father died defending the city. After all that, it seemed quite easy to live through the post-war havoc, when he made ample use of the general confusion and got a university education.

He met his wife Stella in the Far East and they have had two daughters, who in turn have given them four grandchildren. Family life has not prevented him from writing two dissertations, philological and psycho-linguistic, and a book on the psychological and social aspects of swearing. As a result of thorough research for the latter, he has learned to swear in approximately 80 languages which, in his teaching career, he finds a great aid.