Amber's Reviews > The Possessed: Adventures With Russian Books and the People Who Read Them

The Possessed by Elif Batuman
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Apr 25, 2011

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bookshelves: books-about-books, essays, interconnecting, memoir, nonfiction, poetry, russian, writing, travel, stanford-university, graduate-school
Read from May 25 to 30, 2011

Please don't judge a book by its cover. After reading the reviews (New Yorker, N+1, NPR and so on) I was under the impression that this book would be a humorous account about a graduate student in Russian literature at Stanford University. Instead, I got long-winded summaries of Russian novels and a sprinkling of funny stories. The essays that I found good where "Introduction," "Babel in California" and "Who Killed Tolstoy." Everything else painful to read, especially the last essay. Which gives away the entire plot of Dostoevsky's Demons.

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05/25/2011 page 122
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