Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB” as Want to Read:
Death of a Dissident: The Poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and the Return of the KGB
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

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

3.99  ·  Rating Details  ·  258 Ratings  ·  36 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

...more
Audio CD, Abridged, 5 pages
Published June 12th 2007 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published January 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Death of a Dissident, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Death of a Dissident

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 613)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Kevin Maguire
Sep 11, 2012 Kevin Maguire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of many books that will show you how evil Putin is.
Ray
Feb 21, 2008 Ray rated it it was ok
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
Apr 23, 2014 Chris Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Gerry
Nov 25, 2009 Gerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Elina Baltskara
Mar 19, 2013 Elina Baltskara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
BoekenTrol
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
...more
Abby
Apr 10, 2011 Abby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 07, 2015 Paul Pelzers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Chris Seals
Jun 08, 2015 Chris Seals rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
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
Sep 19, 2012 Randy Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Russ
May 08, 2010 Russ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Motorcycle
It wasn't very well written, and I got the feeling that the author was pretty excited about himself. But it was ok.
Ilze
Oct 06, 2008 Ilze rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lise
Apr 29, 2013 Lise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Raili
Apr 06, 2016 Raili rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me some time, but I really enjoyed it! I really wanted to take all the information here with a grain of salt, but at the end it still pretty much sucked me in. It was like watching a horror movie. It's so scary that at the same time you feel a little relieved and happy, because it isn't happening to you and for you it isn't REAL. If you know what I mean. I don't think anyone would regret reading this book.
Margaret Stickland
Alex Goldfarb and Alexander Litvinenko's wife have collaborated to give facts that make for an interesting story . The 'DOINGS " of the Russian oligarchs is something that we can only glimpse at through the writings of John Le Care. A well written stoet that made me be more aware .
Stephan
May 27, 2015 Stephan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thought provoking.
Julia
Oct 02, 2009 Julia rated it it was ok
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
Oct 09, 2015 Ken Taylor rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Katherine
Jul 10, 2009 Katherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
R.Joseph
Sep 03, 2007 R.Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Greg
May 20, 2012 Greg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Samantha
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.
Staggerlee337
Jun 26, 2008 Staggerlee337 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Stephanie
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.
G--
Conspiracy theory at its finest--i.e. it is conceivable, even believable that Putin did order this murder.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 20 21 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The New Nobility: The Restoration of Russia's Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB
  • Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program
  • Is Journalism Worth Dying For? Final Dispatches
  • Too Far From Home: A Story of Life and Death in Space
  • The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive & the Secret History of the KGB
  • Dancing Under the Red Star: The Extraordinary Story of Margaret Werner, the Only American Woman to Survive Stalin's Gulag
  • Reinventing Collapse: The Soviet Example and American Prospects
  • The Party and Other Stories
  • The Terminal Spy: A True Story of Espionage, Betrayal and Murder
  • The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing
  • Rush to Judgment: A Critique of the Warren Commission's Inquiry into the Murder of President
  • Eight Pieces of Empire: A 20-Year Journey Through the Soviet Collapse
  • The Russian Revolution: A Very Short Introduction
  • The Boys on the Tracks: Death, Denial, and a Mother's Crusade to Bring Her Son's Killers to Justice
  • Monkey on a Stick: Murder, Madness and the Hare Krishnas
  • Birdman: The Many Faces of Robert Stroud
  • Who Killed Daniel Pearl?
  • JFK: The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy
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
More about Alex Goldfarb...

Share This Book