'Gadfly in Russia is fascinating...Their journey - by parts touching, hilarious, compulsive, hair-raising - makes On the Road seem tame. Sillitoe offers us a rare insight into ordinary life in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.' The Spectator In 1967, with a need to get away from his writing for a month or so, Allan Sillitoe set off in a blue Peugeot to Russia. Despite his desire to travel alone, he was provided with an official escort in the form of George Andjaparidze, who was to become a fellow journeyman and friend. This is a story of travelling, history, people and places: from the Nazis to perestroika; Pushkin to Tolstoy; yet another police check; racing in a German motor rally heading to Moscow; as well as late nights, vodka, getting lost and the mysteries of the Russian language. A speech in Moscow on freedom, and a visit to London by George with a Russian writer that resulted in an unexpected defection, would leave Sillitoe being viewed in a less-than-favourable light by the Soviets. In 2005, invited by the British Council, he found himself once again in Russia, offering the perfect opportunity to revisit his diaries of old to create this compelling book. Gadfly in Russia is a fascinating account of one man's relation-ship with Russia and its people, and their changing fortunes, over the past 40 years. Alan Sillitoe's first book, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was a bestseller and made into a major film as was his next book, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. Since then he has published over 40 works of prose, poetry and drama.