Reviews of Life as a Literary Device

Life as a Literary Device

“Like “Tristram Shandy”, this is a text that begins everywhere, goes everywhere and carries the reader back to the ground of his own heart. A journey I was delighted to make.”

Iain Sinclair

“I read LIFE AS . . . over the holidays. What a brilliant read - and I loved the quirky originality of the structure, Vitali’s humanity, and his view of life as a major ongoing dramatic event . . . Vitaliev is very damn good.”

Douglas Kennedy

“Vitaliev has finally got around to putting his witty way with a crisis onto the page by explaining—in amusingly circuitous routes—how literature has saved him over the years. Along with Haruki Murakami’s running memoir and Martin Amis’ experience—it’s a memoir, an exercise in attitude and a fascinating window onto the creative process.”

Monocle magazine

“Vitaliev is a genial companion. His tone is immensely likeable. He relishes his successes without arrogance and suffers disappointment without self-pity. He is a genuinely comic writer—not a sabre-toothed satirist, despite the Krokodil years, but friendly and slightly melancholy. His English is fluent and idiomatic. For all the zaniness, there is a good deal of humanity and common sense in this miscellany. I was sorry when the journey ended, and wanted to start the rolling, rocking ride all over again.”

The Independent

“An honest and fact-filled memoir.”

Scotland on Sunday

“A highly absorbing memoir that grips the reader from the very first pages . . .”

Hertfordshire Life

“Vitali offers a unique perspective on even the most mundane things. And despite the atypical narrative style, the stuff he writes about certainly makes for a good read.”

The Katmandu Post

“A celebration of books and their authors . . . full of unpredictable twists and turns . . . A tale of how life and literature are linked . . . This book is an inspiration to anyone who feels a need to write.”


“This book has joy, vivacity and humour . . . A delightful experience of which Vitali can be justly proud.”

Oxford Prospect

A life bound by literature and informed by “mauvism” . . . A fascinating new book which defies categorization, meandering between memoir, novel and diary.”

Sunday Herald