Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia (Hardcover)

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Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia By Peter Pomerantsev Cover Image
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Staff Reviews


Russia has its own version of the truth; it's malleable and ever-changing. The government, much like the one in Orwell's dystopian nightmare, is hard to pin down: sworn enemies become loyal allies and vice-versa, what's perfectly fine one day is is illegal the next, and there is a rotating list of papers one must provide if they are stopped on the street. As a result, the citizens are slippery and must reinvent themselves constantly. Pomerantsev explores this brilliantly, telling story after story about the strange contrasts found in this brave new world. There are the beautiful women who make a living hanging out in bars, searching for a new sugar daddy. There are biker gangs that are militantly, violently religious and gangsters who guard their home turf while making popular films (and performing their own stunts!). Nothing is True and Everything is Possible is a dizzying, dreamy read and I felt as though I'd visited another world after I read it - the perfect non-fiction, stranger-than-truth read!

LAUREN'S STAFF PICKS

The keyword in this book's subtitle is "surreal." A scene at the beginning in which the author finds himself at a meeting deep in the heart of the national television network, Ostankino, feels like something from The Hunger Games. Even the "anti-establishment" programs produced here are carefully scripted by the ruling party. The story of Russia in the 21st Century, as told by an author who is of Russian heritage, but grew up in London, is fascinating, terrifying and heartbreaking. In a classic "truth is stranger than fiction" style, he delves into stories of billionaire playboys, beautiful and lost young girls, sects, gangs, bikers, and a corrupt government ruled by political strongmen with one goal: consolidate their own wealth and power. Breathtaking in the corruption it illuminates, this narrative presents a country which seems to have learned little from history, a country searching for both a heart and a soul--a fascinating read you won't be able to put down.

KATHY'S STAFF PICKS

Russia has its own version of the truth; it's malleable and ever-changing. The government, much like the one in Orwell's dystopian nightmare, is hard to pin down: sworn enemies become loyal allies and vice-versa, what's perfectly fine one day is is illegal the next, and there is a rotating list of papers one must provide if they are stopped on the street. As a result, the citizens are slippery and must reinvent themselves constantly. Pomerantsev explores this brilliantly, telling story after story about the strange contrasts found in this brave new world. There are the beautiful women who make a living hanging out in bars, searching for a new sugar daddy. There are biker gangs that are militantly, violently religious and gangsters who guard their home turf while making popular films (and performing their own stunts!). Nothing is True and Everything is Possible is a dizzying, dreamy read and I felt as though I'd visited another world after I read it - the perfect non-fiction, stranger-than-truth read!

Lauren

Description


In the new Russia, even dictatorship is a reality show.

Professional killers with the souls of artists, would-be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, suicidal supermodels, Hell's Angels who hallucinate themselves as holy warriors, and oligarch revolutionaries: welcome to the glittering, surreal heart of twenty-first-century Russia. It is a world erupting with new money and new power, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality, home to a form of dictatorship--far subtler than twentieth-century strains--that is rapidly rising to challenge the West.

When British producer Peter Pomerantsev plunges into the booming Russian TV industry, he gains access to every nook and corrupt cranny of the country. He is brought to smoky rooms for meetings with propaganda gurus running the nerve-center of the Russian media machine, and visits Siberian mafia-towns and the salons of the international super-rich in London and the US. As the Putin regime becomes more aggressive, Pomerantsev finds himself drawn further into the system.

Dazzling yet piercingly insightful, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible is an unforgettable voyage into a country spinning from decadence into madness.

About the Author


Peter Pomerantsev is an award-winning contributor to the London Review of Books. His writing has been published in the Financial Times, NewYorker.com, Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, Daily Beast, Newsweek, and Atlantic Monthly. He has also worked as a consultant for the EU and for think tanks on projects covering the former Soviet Union. He lives in London.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781610394550
ISBN-10: 1610394550
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication Date: November 11th, 2014
Pages: 256
Language: English