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I Was A Potato Oligarch

7th April 2008

Dear All

Please see below press release for John Mole's "I was a Potato Oligarch"
and flier for his book reading and Russian buffet.

Best wishes
Ute

Press Release

I Was A Potato Oligarch
Travels & Travails in the New Russia
By John Mole
Publishing May 2008, PB Original �9.99

Scientists and Tolkeinists, Eurocrats and bureaucrats, hopeful oligarchs,
hopeless biznismyen, muggers, conmen, mafia and (extra)ordinary Russians
struggling to survive in a world turned inside out. And John Mole setting
up a baked potato take-away�

I Was a Potato Oligarch is bestselling author John Mole's eye-wateringly
funny and true story of his travels and travails in the New Russia.

�funny and perceptive, and gives a vivid and sympathetic picture of what
Russians are really like, and how they manage to survive and enjoy
themselves in their often chaotic country. Rodric Braithwaite � British
ambassador to Moscow 1988-1992�

The Soviet Union has disappeared along with people's nationality,
currency, jobs, salaries, pensions and politics. Oligarchs pillage the
nation's wealth. It looks as if Russia might become a liberal democracy.
It also looks as if it might plunge into chaos. These are fascinating
times and John Mole wants to be part of this New Russia.

But what can he do? Inspiration strikes when he sees the newly opened
McDonald's – British fast food! Nobody is doing baked potatoes and the
secret is in the packaging.
He gets to work with technical advice from that well-known international
conglomerate Jackets of Clapham, money from the British taxpayer, and a
partnership with the Russian Farmers' Union. But "The Big Idea" doesn't
always go to plan � including finding out that none of Russia's 240
different potato varieties actually make a good jacket potato!

During his quest for potato supremacy he tries to corner the market in
business names and pizza cheese. He is taken for a Red Square
demonstrator, a vampire's victim and unwillingly invents the new sport of
pig-surfing. He tries to merge into his surroundings, too literally
sometimes, but nothing that a hose-down and a change of clothes doesn't
put right. While he is trying to sell British fast food to Russians,
Russians try to sell things to him. Fireworks, seashells, tungsten, the
scrapings of baby reindeer horn. And advanced biotechnology, using
bacteria to purify the air in submarines. Spuds end in fiasco. Bugs come
to the rescue.

I was a Potato Oligarch is a journey under the (potato) skin of the New
Russia from a traveller who likes to get his hands as well as his boots
dirty

John Mole is the author of It's All Greek to Me! which has sold over
30,000 copies. He has had a varied international career, from banking in
the Middle East to harvesting water weed In Africa to jacket potato
restaurants in Russia. He is also a well-known author of comic novels and
the perennial bestseller Mind Your Manners. See his website
www.johnmole.com for more details and an exclusive first chapter download,
photographs and illustrations.

All Publicity Enquiries to:
Victoria Fedorowicz, [removed] Tel 020 7239 0360

From Amazon, Waterstone's etc �9.99 ISBN: 978-1857885095

see www.johnmole.com for other outlets
The Divan Club pre{ent{

MUSCOVY

Thursday 15 May 2008
7-10 p.m.

Westminster Cathedral Hall
Ambrosden Avenue SW1P 1QW

words, music and flavours of Russia with

the amazing Russian band

and John Mole reading from his latest book

Russian buffet (bring your own caviar)

Tickets �20 – reservation essential *
(includes buffet and 1 glass of wine)

Tel: 020 7592 1856
[removed]

Registered Charity Number 1079764

for Welcome Home, a cooperation between the St Vincent de Paul Society and
The Passage to support recently homeless people

* make a donation and we�ll send you a book
Welcome Home

Welcome Home provides befriending and basic tenancy support for homeless
people who are being re-housed. Many are allocated housing in boroughs
where they have never been before. Often their flats do not have basic
appliances such as cooker and fridge, let alone a bed or a chair. They
need material help in equipping, decorating and furnishing, advice on
where to go for basic services, shopping and so on. Above all they need
friends and neighbours. The first few months are critical if they are not
to become isolated and depressed, and go back on the street.

Welcome Home is based at the new SVP community shop in Hackney. To donate
furniture and equipment or to volunteer please call 020 7249 3511

www.passage.org.uk www.welcomehome.uk.net

***

Nicholas Brealey Publishing is donating all proceeds of sales of I Was A
Potato Oligarch at Muscovy to Welcome Home.

***

Balalaika is giving their music at cost.

***

Catering is by Claudette, the Passage chef

***

With thanks to the Administrator and staff of Westminster Cathedral

***

The original Divan Club was founded in 1744 for travellers to the Ottoman
Empire and beyond.

Registered Charity Number 1148802; Company Number 8143145;
Website by Pelinor; Header by MvB