Everyone's favorite attention-hogging autocrat is getting not one, but two graphic biographies next year.
It can be done right.
I know what you're thinking: more of them, J.T.?! Yes. I'm contractually obligated (and fiction research-ly-obligated) to cover them. But I promise I'll make this quick and relatively painless.
Today I caught wind of some *interesting* Russia news: Jason Matthews's post-Soviet spy novel Red Sparrow is getting a movie adaptation in 2017.
Author Jennifer Ciotta sets out to humanize the Russian president, with surprising results.
Read it if you're interested, but just know that you'll be getting a very distorted picture of Putin's Russia.
Though dated by its 2000 publication, First Person is a light and interesting introduction to Vladimir Putin. Just don't go into it expecting serious analysis or discoveries - the journalists' questions and the conversations don't go much deeper than the surface.
The true story of Putin's Russia, or a well-meaning but failed attempt to correct popular misconceptions?
If you like your political biographies flabby around the middle and with a heavy dose of cynicism, then Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In and Out of Love with Vladimir Putin is the book for you.
What does Putin want? (I won't tell you, but Walter Laqueur will try...)