Drift through outer space with a doomed cosmonaut whose engine is 'kaput!'; return to an irradiated village with an elderly couple who want to go home; ask yourself, did Elvis really play a concert in Red Square? Twenty-one impish and irrepressible stories by five neglected or forgotten Russian writers. Fresh-faced vignettes from modern St Petersburg; hair-raising tales of state insanity, snatched from the Soviet archives; dark fables from the days of serfdom, when the land was untamed and life was brutish and short. Each mines a discrete facet of Russian life, history or culture, and taken as a whole they sketch a historical arc from the nineteenth century to the age of the budget airline, offering the reader a unique combination of daring, wit, dash and charm.