My Russian Odyssey: by Peter Hill (1958)

My Russian Odyssey book cover

Spy or not? Join Peter Hill in this entertaining personal memoir of a Russian interpreter. Journey through seventy years of ever-changing relations between Russia and the West, beginning with the icy tension of the Cold War.

Trained in Russian in the Royal Navy, Peter’s skills take him on a rollercoaster ride from Scunthorpe to the far reaches of the world—Russia, Hong Kong, Hanoi, and beyond. His love-hate relationship with Russia and its language shapes his many amusing, baffling and scary experiences.

Encounter a vibrant cast of characters, from émigré Russian counts and stage stars to senior politicians and shadowy Whitehall figures. Peter survives being gassed in Portsmouth, censured in the House of Commons, and mugged in Moscow, all the while maintaining a sense of humour, and fortified with quirky wisdom like ‘don’t sell your socks.’

So did Peter Hill really do much spying? Read between the lines and decide for yourself in this lively and unforgettable memoir.