The distinguished author and journalist, Peter Hitchens, was once a correspondent in Moscow, and is old enough to have some experience of what life was like in the now-vanished Soviet Bloc (it remains to be seen if Mr Putin will succeed in re-inventing it...) Last Sunday, in his regular blog for the Daily Mail's on-line edition, Peter wrote about The Valley of Unknowing, which is set in the former East Germany. Coincidentally he bought his copy from a small shop near Gloucester Road tube station, close to where I lived for many years before moving to the burbs. I have a feeling I know which shop it was too (most likely The Slightly Foxed Bookshop). Anyway, he has some very nice things to say about the novel, and some thoughtful comments on the place and time that inspired it. You can read the piece here.