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Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  239 ratings  ·  35 reviews
The story that the Kremlin does not want you to hear.

The assassination of former Russian intelligence officer Alexander "Sasha" Litvinenko in November 2006 -- poisoned by the rare radioactive element polonium -- caused an international sensation. Within a few short weeks, the fit forty-three-year-old lay gaunt, bald, and dying in a hospital, the victim of a "tiny nuclear b

Audio CD, Abridged, 5 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published January 1st 2007)
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Kevin Maguire
One of many books that will show you how evil Putin is.
I found this audiobook a little hard to follow, especially keeping the Russian names straight, and thought it wandered off topic more than I liked. Plus the final police investigation files haven't been released yet, so there's still some speculation as to who / how the agent was poisoned.
Chris Walker
This is a zinger of a book if you want to find out how dangerous Putin is and get some perspective on the current crisis in Ukraine. You may struggle as I did with the great variety of Russian names, the history of the first and second Chechen wars and the domestic political intrigues that have gone on in Russia over the past few decades but press on, press on - it gets easier. And if you want to find out the background to some of the horrendous news stories we have heard in the west, such as th ...more
Blimey! What a disturbing book. It is hard to believe it is not fiction but everyone knows that it is not. The story covers the whole of Sasha Litvinenko's life, climaxing with his dramatic poisoning at the end. But in between the nefarious goings-on in Russia are hard to credit and the authors, who, of course, had the inside track on the whole story pull no punches.

Finishing the book leaves one exhausted and in a state of shock that governments can do such things on a regular basis - but they o
Elina Baltskara
Alelksa Goldfarba un Marinas Ļitviņenko grāmata "Disidenta nāve - Aleksandra Ļitviņenko noindēšana un čekas atgriešanās" ir darbs, kurš man lika atvērt acis plašāk un noticēt neticamajam. Šī grāmata ir par skarbo realitāti, par to, kas notiek mums apkārt. Tas ir patiess stāsts par kirevu spiega A.Ļitviņenko noslepkavošanu.
2006. gada novembrī teju pār visu pasauli pārlaidās ziņa, ka ir miris bijušais krievu spiegs Aleksandrs Ļitviņenko. Nāvi izraisījis radioaktīvais polonijs, kas dažu nedēļu lai
Finally!! I'm through! This book has been following me around for quite some time now and, to be honest, I've had enough now.

It is a good book. BUT (there's always a but, somewhere in a story...) for me it was a bit disappointing. The story wasn't a story about 'Litvinenko', but is was even more one about Russian politics in the last decade. With all the intrigues, the hatred, the games. And, to tell you the thruth, that's not something I'm very fond of.

For me the first and the last part were th
This amazing biography was an intriguing insight into the grimy underground of the Kremlin and the KGB.. I was so lucky to find it at the bottom of a pile in our local second hand bookshop - the best AU$2 I have ever spent. By the end of it, I was so devastated at the lengths that the Russian Government went to to silence its defectors and 'enemies', but at the same time, in awe of Alexander Litvinenko and his commitment to making the country honest. He is an inspiration. HIGHLY recommended to a ...more
Paul Pelzers
Russian secret service back? Or never went away?

I read the book in Dutch translation. I use Google translation to translate my review in English.

The book captivates if you are interested in developments in Russia after the Soviet era. The beauty of my age is that I am the leading figures from the Cold War and shortly afterwards can still remember vividly. It's not so much that the fate of Litvinenko themselves that make this book so fascinating for me but above all the intrigues and strategies o
Chris Seals
Just started...If I can just keep the characters straight, and pronounce the Russian names, I'll be doing great. OVER A YEAR LATER...I never did finish this book. I lost interest after half....maybe I'll pick it up again later.
Randy Johnson
If you're tempted to think the US had embarked on a new era of amity with the kinder, gentler rump of the old Soviet Union this is a must-read. Eye-opening. Chilling.
If you can get past the minor confusion of some similarly named principals (e.g. two men named Boris), you will learn just how evil Vladimir Putin is.
It wasn't very well written, and I got the feeling that the author was pretty excited about himself. But it was ok.
What is it about power that drives people no end? That and money - billions of dollars worth (or oil ...). It is something that can destroy innocent lives just by snapping one's fingers. Why? Why is it so necessary to build your pyramid (which just goes to show for how many millennia man has been holding onto these two things). Putin didn't fit in anywhere until he got the taste of both of them: 1. Power. 2. Money. Now he can't let go, because letting go means you're not in control. That means l ...more
Death by pulonium-210. Pulonium in the blood is not a pleasant way to go. But then I guess quite a few ways of dying are rather unpleasant. What makes it a sensational death is that Litvinenko was poisoned and quite a few people suspect that it is a political death – like the death of Anna Politkovskaya.

So who was Alexander Litvinenko? Why was it necessary to kill him?

Some of "Death of a Dissident" is bleak reading. Unsurprising but bleak. The lengths to which some people will go to gain and ret
A bit too detailed for perhaps all but the most knowledgeable in Russian politics. However, the broad outlines of the story - the transition between Yeltsin and Putin - are quite interesting. And the story of the murder itself is stranger and more bizarre than any spy novel I've read.

I was impressed how the reader handled all those Russian names. He didn't stumble once. I wonder how many takes that took?
Ken Taylor
This was a very slow paced book for me. After reading about decades of Russian government and its corruption in unending intricacies, I was roughly halfway through the book, and still had yet to hear much of anything about Alexander Litvinenko. So I decided to stop there. Unless this book had one hell of a second half, I don't really feel like I missed out on much.
This true story is a madcap, international, politically-driven spy thriller and conspiracy theory that rivals--and transcends--many fiction spy thrillers. The KGB, Putin and the rise of Al-Qaeda can be traced all the way to the Cold War. It shows how Alexander "Sascha" Litvinenko was caught in between the crossfire of nationalism and the search for truth and justice.
Stephanie LGW
I went into this thinking it was going to be more of a biography of Sasha Litvinenko, but it was really more of an autobiography of Alex Goldfarb in parts. Not entirely what I was expecting, though I cannot believe the level of conspiracy and paranoia in Russia. This book may make you look over your shoulder when walking down the street.
This is the story of Alexander “Sasha” Litvinenko, the ex Russian FSB officer who was killed in London with radioactive polonium. The story paints a bleak picture of Russia and Putin. Fast read, some confusion with all the Russian names and nicknames they develop for each other.
Pretty compelling book, although it is doubtful anyone will ever be brought to justice for Litvinenko's murder. I remember reading the story and especially seeing the picture of him after he was poisoned. Pretty unforgettable.
Extraordinary book; particularly interesting given that the recent Boston marathon bombings suspects are Chechen and Russia's involvement in the investigation. Sasha Litvinenko is a modern day hero and Putin is one scary SOB.
Roger Boyle
Much more about the Russian political scene than they ghastly but fascinating murder. AL himself is painted as a good guy but it doesn't work for me! Good book if you want to understand how Yeltsin and Putin did it.
Given that journalists in Russia are being killed for reporting the truth, it's interesting how much this book reveals. Chilling. Nowhere on the planet is safe from Putin if he wants to find you.
I definitely need to learn more about Russian politics and the KGB before attempting this book again. I think it will be interesting when I have a little background knowledge.
Tom Schulte
A fascinating story of the life of the world's first known victim of polonium poisoning. Looking into this book, and you will see Putin's soul and more.
B. Preston
Reading this book was a sobering experience. Unfortunately, there is an "Old Guard" in Russia still behaving like the bad old days of the Soviet Union.
Conspiracy theory at its finest--i.e. it is conceivable, even believable that Putin did order this murder.
VEry interesting book- fictionalized but real story of russian spy poisoned in London in 2007
Jul 06, 2009 Lucien is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
So far very enjoyable...Crazy what happened to this guy when he decided to defect!
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Alexander Goldfarb (born in 1947) is a Jewish-Russian-Israeli-American microbiologist, activist, and author.

Goldfarb helped Alexander Litvinenko to leave Russia and prepare the book Lubyanka Criminal Group for publication. Goldfarb was a spokesman for Alexander Litvinenko during the two last weeks of his life. He later wrote and published book Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvi
More about Alex Goldfarb...

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