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Q. How did you like this book? A. Boy, what a mess. I mean, after Gorbachev resigned, Russia became an outrageous place, according to Alex and Marina. Everybody seemed to be on the take and there were bureacracies on top of bureacracies. The subject of the book, Sasha, is one of the few good guys, apparently because he knew little about politics. I am not familiar with Russian names, though I studied Russian for two years in college. The names were confusing and hard to pronounce. This may be a problem for some readers not familiar with Russian. Q. So the story is confusing? A. I will say this. Alex and Marina were able to explain, through their narrative, what transpired from the time after Gorbachev to the time of Yeltsin and then to Putin. I learned a new perspective on the Chechen war, not like reading from the news reports. The Russian names may be hard to pronounce, for Americans, but the people bearing those names, their characteristics, their traits, their politics, are coherently stated by Alex and Marina. Q. So the book may be difficult for English speakers, because of all the Russian names? A. Maybe. But on the other hand, there is a definite plot to the book, and it is all true. Things really heat up as the book progresses. It becomes truly a story of good versus evil. But to his credit, Alex admits in the introduction that not everyone sees his side as the good side. It becomes a cloak and dagger thriller, as Alex notes. It is unfortunate that many people died, but this can, presumably be blamed on evil. Or on human nature, in my opinion. Q. So general readers can read the book and learn? A. Yes. Readers will learn more about post-communist Russia than they have from newspapers or television, I think. I did, anyway.
Review: Death of a Dissident: Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGBUser Review - G-- - Goodreads
Conspiracy theory at its finest--ie it is conceivable, even believable that Putin did order this murder. Read full review