Customer Review

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent., 22 Jan. 2013
This review is from: The Lying Year (Kindle Edition)
Mikhail Vorobyov is a twenty-something screwup/slacker who's recently been fired from his job at a large industrial firm in Moscow for boozing on the job. To his astonishment, he is summoned to the boss's office, where he is made an offer he can't refuse. The boss (a budding oligarch) is concerned that his teenage son is some kind of deviant or sissy, as he spends all day in his room on his computer. The boss wants Mikhail to teach him to be a man, take him out on the town, introduce him to vodka and women -- for which he will be paid a very handsome salary and given the use of a shiny new Land Rover. Naturally, Mikhail jumps at the offer and wacky hi-jinks ensure. Or rather, somewhat wacky hi-jinks sometimes ensue.

After this promising setup, the book never picks up a head of steam, instead meandering all over the place with little urgency or focus. It turns out the teenager has a secret lover, but his father has pledged him to the daughter of an Italian concrete magnate, so that's one thread. Mikhail turns out to be attracted to the kid's lover, so that's another thread. There's plenty of deception (hence the title), plenty of intragenerational issues, plenty of "New Russia" problems (like a gangster who takes over a market stall), some comic set pieces, some gunplay, some diary excerpts, some other voices -- but none of it really adds up to anything really compelling. It's more a series of vignettes or impressions or moods, as opposed to a compelling story. Those who need their fiction to be plot-driven will likely be frustrated, while those who feed on character will find a little more to chew on -- a little, not a lot. Worth trying if you've got some connection to Russia or Russian fiction, otherwise I can't recommend it. It's never a good sign when I'm able to put a book down for a few days and completely forget about it, and that happened several times with this book.(less)
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Jan 2013 09:24:09 GMT
Last edited by the author on 22 Jan 2013 09:25:09 GMT
LD says:
Sounds just like a book I don't want to read! After reading your review I didn't even bother with the free sample. Very helpful, thanks.
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Location: Newport (Wales)

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