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I, Putin

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  116 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
* Winner of Honorable Mentions at the New York Book Festival & Hollywood Book Festival!

* Amazon Kindle Top 100 Paid Best Seller in Historical Russian Fiction, Historical European History, Russian History & Alternative History!


Vladimir Putin, the enigmatic, controversial president of Russia, is faced with a decis
Paperback, 210 pages
Published April 18th 2012 by Pencey X Publishing (first published January 23rd 2012)
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Jennifer Ciotta
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
It's my book, so I give it five stars!!!
This is my 150th review, which means I am about halfway through reviewing all the books I've read. Hooray! And like my 100th review, this one happens to be for a book about Russia. And it’s going to be long.

Take a look at my Russia and Vladimir-Putin shelves and you'll see that I am VERY selective when it comes to choosing books about Putin to read. It seems that many books written about him today are very critical of him and almost always present him in a negative light: as the great villain, S
Debbie "DJ"
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is a really interesting read. How to write about a man who is so stoic, and a country so reserved. I believe the author succeeded in bringing them both to light. While this book delves lightly into former Russian presidents, it's main focus is on the Kursk disaster where hundreds of Russians were abandoned when their submarine exploded. This sub was built to show the world Russia was a real contender. It was Russia's pride and joy, and carried numerous nuclear weapons. This book looks at Pu ...more
Bob Zaslow
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The author has focused on Putin as a character in a novel rather than a purely biographical account of his life.
And as a character, he has goals. He has needs and wants. He's driven to achieve. And it's that drive which propels the story forward. LIke any complex character he isn't any one thing, but has elements of good and bad. He's a character I kept rooting for. At the outset, I didn't think that would have been possible. But this is a story about a highly intelligent man who has raised the
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I will return to write my review that "I Putin" by Jennifer Ciotta deserves. What I can say now is that I stayed up until 1am reading "I, Putin" and that I set my alarm to wake me up this morning at 5am so I could have some uninterrupted alone time with "Putin" - I think that statement in and of itself conveys how I feel this book and its author, Jennifer Ciotta, don't you?

"I, Putin " Wins Honorable Mentions at the New York Book Festival and Hollywood Book Festival! BRAVA!!!
Ira Therebel
I guess my rating may seem too harsh, so I would like to explain that I stick to the one suggested by goodreads. In this case 2 is "ok". I don't dislike it, but I don't like it either.

I had mixed feelings about the book before I even got it. I was interested in it just like I am in all books about Russia and the rest of ex Soviet countries. I did worry I may dislike it after I read the author's blog. Her seemingly big liking for Putin and current Russia made me worried it will be a huge tribute
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, lit-fiction
I've always believed there are specific "tipping points" - moments of uncertainty - when the outcome of an event or nation or a life hangs in the balance below a swinging pendulum. It often takes time and insight to identify those moments as we try piece together the story of how things came to be. But when you can identify one of those moments, you possess a kind of prism that didn't exist before that allows you to see everything else much more clearly. Jennifer Ciotta identifies Vladimir Putin ...more
Frank O'Neill
Feb 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When I first learned that Jennifer Ciotta wrote ‘I Putin’ in the Russian President’s own voice, I thought “this woman has cajones.” How do you pull off a story about such a public figure writing in the first person? Especially one as inscrutable and vilified in the U.S. as Vladimir Putin.

Well, Jennifer Ciotta pulls it off magnificently. I Putin is actually written both from Putin’s perspective as he dictates his memoirs to his fictional personal aide Gosha Golubev and from the perspective of Gos
Brian Morris
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it

I, Putin…..i just read it. a signed copy no less. really good stuff, Jennifer. i've had a thing (a big, bad, ugly thing) against Putin for a long time now. the recent Pussy Riot verdict hasn't helped any. imho, he's bad news, but your book makes him almost human. and some of his actions defensible. no small feat………GOOD JOB! i've always said that what makes a writer great isn't JUST the way that person writes. it's the premise upon which he or she hangs a story. Will Self's COCK & BULL follow
David Carraturo
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my opinion, Jennifer Ciotta accomplished what I believe is very difficult to do, and that is seemlessly blend fiction and fact in a very entertaining biography (it actually read like an autobiography) of a man the vast majority of Americans know little or nothing about.

Vladimir Putin to most westerners is an enigma and this story provides a detailed look at his life from many angles. Whether it is his hard upbringing, cutting his teeth as a KGB agent, his first days as the Russian leader or f
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
This wasn't the sort of ruminative character study I expected from the title, but a page-turning political suspense story of a stark and melancholy (Russian) sort. It's sad, it's funny, and I liked the brief appearance of the university student Bill Clinton. Every time I see Putin in the news now, I'm going to involuntarily think of him as Ciotta has portrayed him. I wonder how close her version is to reality.
May 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Its a nice insight, albeit not very clear what percentage was fiction and how much of it was real. I'd be disappointed if a significant portion is not real.

[Update on 06.06.13: The author was kind enough to respond to my query; it is informed that events of significant importance are all real. Fiction is added just to give it a better flow]
Tariq Mahmood
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: europe, slav
I loved it, the whole story was put together with a lot of insight of the Russian people, their lives and the impact left on them of the Second World War. The author has managed to present a reality of the hidden world of presidents, reflecting on their human sides which is very interesting. A very good effort.
Aug 20, 2012 marked it as interested-in
Unusual and fascinating.
Mark Maguire
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have just finished reading this book.

The book was brought to my attention by Jennifer Ciotta following a review that I had posted on Goodreads concerning Vladimir Putin's' "First Person" account of his rise to power.

The majority of my friends and family are aware of the admiration that I have for Vladimir Putin. From my readings, it strikes me that Mr Putin is a man who is driven by both the resurrection of Mother Russia, and the logically necessary destruction of the former Communist Party /
Matt Mitrovich
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
What can be said about the controversial president of Russia, Vladimir Putin? He has brought considerable economic growth and stability to Russia, but is accused of being undemocratic. He is a martial arts enthusiast, whose "tough guy" image is dismissed as a publicity stunt. So what are the real motivations of the three time president of Russia? Jennifer Ciotta in her novel I, Putin attempts to answer that question.

We get a glimpse of the real Putin thanks to Gosha Golubev, his fictional person
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had some knowledge about Putin before reading this book. But after reading this novel, I feel like there's only little more I might want to know about Mr.Vladimir Putin. Jennifer has done a marvelous work that is worth applauding and I am sure by now she's received a fair share of it. Coming back to the novel, I don't consider it as one. No doubt it has some made up stories and everything, but as the author has confirmed in a post on goodreads that most of the things mentioned here are actuall ...more
Mar 28, 2015 rated it liked it
The story opens in 2012 with Gosha, Putin's personal assistant, preparing his mother for burial as fast as he can before he needs to be back at work. Apparently there are no days off, even for a death in the family. Gosha returns to work, discovers that Putin knows where he was and what he was doing. Nothing can be hidden from the former KGB man. This establishes that Putin is powerful and scary. Part of Gosha's work is transcribing Putin's memoirs. This is the device by which the narrative voic ...more
K.M. Knowles
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across I, Putin because its author is an editor who had been recommended to me for the non-fiction book I was writing. Not being particularly interested in either politics or contemporary Russia, Ciotta’s novel had not crossed my reading radar. But, wow, am I glad it did.

The character-driven story line is riveting from the first chapter. Ciotta effortlessly weaves historical events and facts into a fascinating study of one man. Putin is a contradiction in today’s world, being simultaneous
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was chosen for my Book Club. If it was not for that way of meeting this book I don't know that I would have picked it up to read voluntarily. But it was an interesting read and I was glad to have read it. It was timely that I read this during the Olympics when Putin was in the limelight.

The book revolves around a crisis that occurs when a Russian ship sinks and Putin has to make a decision whether he should ask for help from another country. What happens when Vladimir Putin is faced wi
Jun 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: docudrama
Captivating and good read. I couldn't put the book down before I got to the end. Author has clearly evolved as a writer since the days I read some of her short stories, which contained lots of fancy words which ruined the flow of the text and made them challenging for a non-native English speaker to read. Instead this book was clear, easy and joy to read.

Most of the events happen not far from where I live and in places I've visited which made it somewhat weird, but also interesting at the same t
Damira Davletyarova
Mar 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've read this book at one gulp.

Readers will follow Vladimir Putin through time of turbulence, as the newly-elected president is struggling to keep his power amid Kursk nuclear-powered submarine disaster. Foreign countries as U.K. and Norway offer a rescue help for fee. Protests rage across Russia, pressing the president to accept aid.

The story is told through different characters that includes a personal assistant Genadyi (Gosha) Golubev, former U.S. President William Clinton, and Putin himself
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a solid book considering that the author was writing from the point of view of a well known political figure. I felt as though she was able to capture a bunch of the Russian way of life and thought process well in this book. I found the ending kind of funny but at the same time, I don't know politics well enough to know if this relationship was such or not.

I did find the book to jump around a lot which I'm typically not a big fan of. The chapters were labeled with dates but I still foun
Jenifer Rosenberg
Interesting look at such an enigmatic public figure. The novel is able to look deep within and expose the sensitive , rarely seen side of Putin. Examining his childhood roots and worst moments of his presidency. The book follows in touching narrative weaving the the bio of Putin along the tragedy of the Kursk. The personalization of the sailor Dima and the heartbreak of his family was especially poignant. I particularly loved the background and sections about Clinton. Fantastic novel . It really ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't normally read thrillers, historical fiction or the like, but this book (not sure what genre it falls into) was a page turner for me. Ciotta has me wondering at every turn of the page what was fact and what was fiction. I've never been particularly interested in Russia or Russian politics, but Ciotta aroused my interest by her masterful story telling. And she put such a human face on Putin it made me wonder, who is this man, really? I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a ...more
Daniel Wagner
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Ciotta has capably tackled a difficult subject - to humanize a world leader the media has demonized for more than a decade: Vladimir Putin. In 'I Putin', Ciotta succeeds in casting Putin in a light most people are unaccustomed to seeing him in. As a result, we are reminded how prevailing views in the media can be one sided and stifle honest debate. The book is worth the read for anyone yearning for an alternative view of Russia and Mr. Putin...

Andrea Vrtikapa
Feb 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: chick-lits
Okay. Still looking forward to the author chat with my book club.

I would like to update my review after having a chat with the author via Skype and my book club.

My book club really enjoyed the chat with Jennifer. She is very knowledgeable about Putin and really put a different spin on her book that had me think about it in a different way. She answered our questions and we had a great time!! Thank you, Jennifer
Kari Sinclair
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a fascinating novel inside the mind of Vladimir Putin. Jennifer Ciotta created a sort of faux autobiography of Putin, which tells of the Kursk tragedy, but also his former life in the KGB, his relationship with his wife and with his daughters. To get inside the mind of Putin would be an amazing feat and I think Jennifer Ciotta has achieved this with her novel, I, Putin.

An amazing book--one that should be read by everyone!
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
I read this book over 2 days. Unlike Man w/o a Face, I couldn't put this one down. It painted such a different picture of Putin, that it's hard to reconcile the fact that both books are about the same man. The book itself was very well written, and very engaging. The descriptions of the country were amazing.
Barb Henderson
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I, Putin, is a story that I would normally never consider reading. This story surprised me. The author was able to humanize all the players in this historical account. You were compelled to identify with the struggles that Putin was dealing with and came away with a new understanding of his actions.
This book gave me a new perspective on an international incident.
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Jennifer Ciotta is the author of "I, Putin" (Vladimir Putin novel), which won Honorable Mentions at the New York Book Festival & Hollywood Book Festival, 2012. It continues to hit these Amazon Kindle Top 100 Paid Best Seller lists: Russian History, Historical European Fiction, and Historical Russian Fiction. It is Ciotta's debut novel. She is also the author of the "No Bulls**t Guide to Self-P ...more
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