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Hamilton, Jack, The Good Balkans: Adventures between old and new Bulgaria (: Wild Man Books, 2009).

“If you can work out what is going on in Bulgaria, you will be able to work out what is going on anywhere. Everything happens under the surface there.” This challenge, from the East European editor of a national newspaper, sent Jack Hamilton to the far corner of Europe when Communism was buried but not yet dead.

For the next ten years he uncovered the stories and dramas of this small country, which has the Balkans at its heart as well as being the heart of the Balkans.

The Good Balkans weaves the story of these travels with accounts of meetings with gypsy criminals, super-rich oligarchs, the former Tsar, sexually incontinent monks, witches and secret policemen to produce a compelling account of how the most loyal Soviet satellite became the last fully paid up member of the European Union.


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Studies in Travel Writing (journal)
Centre for Travel Writing Studies (Nottingham Trent University)

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