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Vodka (2006)

Vodka (2006)
3.58 of 5 Votes: 3
0451412060 (ISBN13: 9780451412065)
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Vodka (2006)
Vodka (2006)

About book: Blech. Outside of the fact that it introduced me to the concept of the "vor v zakone", it was just kinda... well, 'blech' says it all. Not recommended. I bought it cuz' I couldn't resist the title, for a dollar. It was worth a dollar, but it wasn't worth the time it cost me. Slogging through it was so unenjoyable that it took like nine times as long to read as it would have otherwise, because I kept finding anything to do other than pick it back up. Basically, chick goes to Russia to oversee a fictionalized version of the Russian transition from communist to capitalist. Simultaneously, the-one-not-corrupt-cop-in-Moscow starts investigating some murders. The two plots don't ever really tie in very well, the characters that aren't so widely caricatured they're laughable are kind of dull. There's an alcoholism subplot that pretty much killed it for me. There are better mediocre crime novels out there, and better books set in Russia.

Back in the 1980s, Martin Cruz Smith wrote Gorky Park. The promotional material presented it as a sneak peak at life (and detective fiction) behind the Iron Curtain. As a 13 year old this made an impression on me, even if much of it was bound to be hype now that I look back on it.This book was presented in much the same way. This time the book looks at the time after Gorbachev when the government starts to sell off state owned industries and attempts to see if it could work by piloting the process with a Vodka factory. American advisers are called in and they walk into a gang war between Chechens and the Russian Mafia as they attempt to control the factory.I want to say that this was a good book, but it was simply your average rival gangs thriller with people who had Eastern European name.
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Well it's a bit hard to review this one. I read it while in a mental ward during a nervous breakdown. Reading the book and then looking at the people around me I was very hard put to figure out who was the most nuts. maybe it was just me..The female lead goes on a long trip down fuelled by the eponymous alcohol. Not sure where the plot was going or where it actually ended up but I was on medication at the time so perhaps I can be excused. I seem to remember enjoying reading it, that's why I gave it three stars, but I plead diminished responsibility.
my love and intrigue of russia landed this book in my lap, it has actually been on my shelves for a while(not really sure were i picked it up at)i finally picked this up and actually almost put it right back down...language was almost a big issue. but the story line had me and i needed to know how it turned out. i told jeremy this would have made an awesome action movie, how could it not be when you have russian mafia involved. i however would never recommend the book openly due to some questionable scenes. i do feel like the author did an excellent job portraying the russian mentality and the difficulties involved in trying to nationally privatize russia. i could really relate to alice and how russia got under her skin and she immersed herself in moscow. if i didn't already have some experience with russia and her history i would have found myself lost for parts of the story. so overall just a 3 star story.
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