- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Posted August 11, 2012
Jennifer Ciotta has capably tackled a difficult subject - to humanize a world leader the media has demonized for more than a decade: Vladimir Putin. In 'I Putin', Ciotta succeeds in casting Putin in a light most people are unaccustomed to seeing him in. As a result, we are reminded how prevailing views in the media can be one sided and stifle honest debate. The book is worth the read for anyone yearning for an alternative view of Russia and Mr. Putin.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 24, 2012
This was a fascinating novel inside the mind of Vladimir Putin. Jennifer Ciotta created a sort of faux autobiography of Putin, which tells of the Kursk tragedy, but also his former life in the KGB, his relationship with his wife and with his daughters. To get inside the mind of Putin would be an amazing feat and I think Jennifer Ciotta has achieved this with her novel, I, Putin.
An amazing book--one that should be read by everyone!
Posted June 18, 2012
Using the tragedy of the sinking of the Russian nuclear submarine, the Kursk, as a backdrop, Jennifer Ciotta weaves a complex tale of political intrigue and biographic narrative that cuts to the heart of the Russian psyche. The story of each character is laced with a sort of sadness that is distinctly Russian in temperament - a quiet desperation lightened by ambition and emboldened by strength and determination - and in the end, there is even a glimmer of hope for the future. (The one exception is an interlude with Bill Clinton, whose sly, winking, decadent, and slightly degenerate "Amerikanski" persona adds some levity and creates a vivid contrast to the stoic Russian protagonist). The character of Gosha, Putin's anxious and self-conscious personal aide, provides a third person view of the Russian president; but through it all, the novel is mainly told through the first person perspective of Putin himself, a man who embodies everything great and everything flawed in the Russian character. In Putin we see vigor, single-minded resolve, fortitude, stubbornness, hubris, coldhearted calculation, and an unabashed will to power. Ciotta's portrait of the man who has dominated the political scene in Russia since the end of the Cold War is incisive and poignant. She tells the tale from the inside out, through Putin's own eyes, in reflection of his own thoughts, and in what we feel might be his own words. In the end, the typical feeling an American might have towards Putin - mistrust, dislike, animosity, a grudging respect for his strength and tenacity - are not so much disclaimed as they are complemented by a sense of familiarity with the man's personal history and his place in history. Mistrust and dislike are assuaged by understanding. Animosity is tempered by insight. The grudging respect remains.
In the 21st Century, American presidents and political leaders have come and gone. The same is true in all other democracies. But in Russia, whether as President or Premier, Putin stands alone. He is the face and the force of the new Russia - both the czar and the Rasputin behind the opaque screen of the new Russian "republic." The paradox of the former KGB agent and former Soviet loyalist, now a democratically elected official and proponent of capitalism, is fascinating to anyone with the least bit of interest in global politics. I, Putin is a well written and highly engaging story that provides true insight into the man who, by sheer will power alone, became one of the most powerful men in the world, and is likely to be a big player on the world stage for many years to come.
I highly recommend this book!
Posted February 11, 2012
My education on Russia and its central figure has begun! Jennifer Ciotta’s first novel harnesses and explores the intrigue surrounding Russia’s president of 12 years. Told through the guise of Putin dictating his memoirs to his assistant, Gosha, the reader learns through the weaving together of small story lines from several different view points and the telling of one unforgettable tragedy how Putin has become the hardened man we see today. Ciotta’s writing style provides context through detail and sheds light on corners of the Eastern world I had never before imagined. The level of research is apparent in her descriptions of rural Estonia and Russia, the confines of the exploded submarine and Putin’s background. I, Putin is insightful and a pleasure to read, leaving me hoping there will be a follow up novel once Putin’s future is determined this spring.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.