It’s easy to see now—after Putin’s power grabs, and his puppet-mastering, and his arrests of dissidents, and his occasional assassination by radiation—that electing a sociopathic master spy to be your country’s president was a bit of a mistake. But it’s also not hard to see why, in the absence of such results, Putin can be kind of a likable guy. At the very least, he’s entertainingly eccentric and a genuine badass, the opposite of most countries’ milquetoast, career-politician leaders. Judah, in this new book about the rise and fall of Putin’s popularity, in more of a political science direction, but not without its share of entertainment.
This sounds like a risky idea executed—not without flaws—by a talented author. Leary likes Sittenfeld’s style and her ability to create complex characters without overexplaining every last thing, but she doesn’t care for the way Sittenfeld explores the psychic aspects of the sister’s relationship. As a bonus, this review contains one of the least flattering author illustrations I’ve ever seen.
Rosenberg gives a brief overview of Metzger’s rocketship career arc as a sci-fi prodigy and YA wunderkind before calling this latest novel her “breakout.” As it turns out, it’s about a young man with an eating disorder. Sounds like a great treatment of that material, but I’m afraid it’s not up my alley.