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The Man without a Face Audiobook

The Man without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin

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Publisher's Summary

The Man Without a Face is the chilling account of how a low-level, small-minded KGB operative ascended to the Russian presidency and, in an astonishingly short time, destroyed years of progress, making his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.

Handpicked as a successor by the “family” surrounding an ailing and increasingly unpopular Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin seemed like the perfect choice for the oligarchy to shape according to its own designs. Suddenly the boy who had stood in the shadows, dreaming of ruling the world, was a public figure, and his popularity soared. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see the progressive leader of their dreams, even as he seized control of the media, sent political rivals and critics into exile or to the grave, and smashed the country’s fragile electoral system, concentrating power in the hands of his cronies.

As a journalist living in Moscow, Masha Gessen experienced this history firsthand, and for The Man Without a Face she has drawn on information and sources no other writer has tapped. Her account of how a faceless man maneuvered his way into absolute - and absolutely corrupt - power has the makings of a classic of narrative nonfiction.

©2012 Masha Gessen (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A thorough account…[Gessen] has written something rare: an accessible book about an unreachable man.” (New York Times Book Review on Perfect Rigor)

“Despite news reports, Putin doesn’t have quite the notoriety he deserves in the West; Gessen should push him to the forefront.” (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (447 )
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Performance
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  •  
    IH 10-23-16
    IH 10-23-16
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    "Good book terrible narrator"

    I was eager to listen to this book, it's the worst narrator so far , I have over 500 books on my library.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    casey 04-30-15
    casey 04-30-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Interesting story but terrible narration!"

    The subject matter was very interesting but I could not stand to listen to the narrator! I learned a lot about Putin - sadly!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 01-08-14
    Katherine Georgetown, Ontario, Canada 01-08-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Better than I expected, worth a listen!"

    I think this is a great introduction to the topic of post-Communist Russia. It's easy to listen to, covering things we have heard about in the headlines, and giving us greater depth and perspective. There is likely bias at work, but it doesn't spoil the overall approach because the evidence of her basic thesis is overwhelming. I picked to listen to it now because, with the Sochi Olympics coming next month and some terrorist attacks happening in Russia, it resonated with me. Putin's response was this: " Putin vows to annihilate "terrorists" after suicide bombings". That comment alone gives the skeleton of his character and then this book puts flesh on the bones. I really enjoyed it. It portrays awful things that happened with enough detail to grasp the ugliness, but not so much that it's depressing and you wish to turn away from it. That's a difficult balance to achieve. I'm still not sure how Masha Gessen stayed alive, but I'm going to listen to the epilogue again and see if there's a clue there...I fell asleep the first time, not from boredom, just late night.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Oksana Bovt 09-19-17
    Oksana Bovt 09-19-17 Member Since 2016
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    "a book with facts"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Highly recommend this book, especially to those interested in Russian current politics and how this effects the rest of the world.


    What about Justine Eyre’s performance did you like?

    The narration is great and doesn't interfere with the storyline.


    Any additional comments?

    This is one of the best books on this topic. I'm originally from that part of the world and lived through many events mentioned in this book. It was interesting to compare how these events were presented to the public and what was behind them in reality. Interesting and factual book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MAG New York, NY 09-14-17
    MAG New York, NY 09-14-17 Member Since 2007
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    "Worst narrator ever"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator--without a doubt one of the worst Audible narrators I have listened to. The Boris & Natasha accent was truly cringeworthy at best, and thoroughly enraging when Russian names were ruthlessly mispronounced.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Justine Eyre’s performances?

    Never. Never again. Ever.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel B. 08-14-17
    Daniel B. 08-14-17
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    "What we don't know"

    It's well worth knowing in this insightful and concise story of Bad Vlad. Not what the media tells you, but what really happens. Frightening but true. Answers a lot of questions. Must-read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    kaf 08-10-17
    kaf 08-10-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Very Educational! A must read in this day and age"

    I learned so much listening to this. it is scarry to know who is in charge in Russia, who is so hungry for power and wealth. I love that it ended on a positive note. thank you for writing and performing and carrying on Audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Alex 05-18-17
    Alex 05-18-17 Member Since 2014
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    "a necessary listen on today's Russia"

    Masha Gessen tells a easily followable story of Putin. If you want to understand the current state of Russia you need to give this book a listen

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Scalia 04-25-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Great book, horrible narrator"

    This book was excellent. However, Justine Eyre is simply awful here. She mispronounces many words in English, and frequently gets things outright incorrect "sovereignty" -NOT "soverininity"

    "TaJIKistan" not "TAJikistan" -seriously!? Have you never heard of this country? How is it that nobody from the publisher of this book caught any of these ridiculous errors. There are SO many.

    Further, she doesn't know russian and butchers plenty of words. How hard can it be to find someone who knows even the basics of Slavic language and speech?

    Last but not least, her fake russian accent she uses to imitate different characters is outright cartoonish and sounds so silly. I cannot stand this narrator. She's the worst.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Amy Geier 03-26-17
    Amy Geier 03-26-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Narrator is so cloying I had to stop"

    The narrator uses weird obnoxious nasal inflections in most words. It's like listening to a whiny snob at a party I want to escape. Any part of the book I was able to listen to was through sheer will, forcing myself to ignore her reading and focusing on the content. Alas I gave up. There are other ways to get this content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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