It is the stuff of fiction. The plot is extensive, if outlandish. The theatre on which the protagonists play is as huge as the egos of some of them. By now we know most of the characters, but we have no idea where the narrator is leading us. This is a Russian novel, but certainly it is not in the tradition of Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky, for while there are many scheming, one-dimensional and diabolical characters, one cannot encounter a single sympathetic hero. The protagonists roam in the underworld but work mostly in the virtual world. Most of the protagonists are driven by deceit, and hubris; their world is one of ceaseless quest for self-aggrandizement, raw power and material riches. The main American protagonist is a Septuagenarian Vulgarian narcissist, more than willing to enter into Faustian deals, who through sheer guile, lies, and thuggery reached the pinnacle of power in his country. The main Russian protagonists is a strong believer and practitioner of hard power, a cold man with boundless ambition, who possesses the kind of brutal cunning that one can only gain by spending long years as a spy lurking in the underground, manipulating people and exploiting their foibles.
Reality as fiction
Mr. Trump’s affection for Russia and his praise of President Putin has been consistent. Mr. Trump, who is not known for his erudition praised Russia as “hot stuff” and described president Putin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 as “so smart”Hisham Melhem