Thursday, May 29, 2014

A pleasant interlude: Russia's Diamonds by Yuri Dia konov

I have recently had the pleasure of reading the latest book by Yuri Dia konov entitled Russia's Diamonds and I can immediately tell you that it is a fun read.  The weird thing is that the Amazon blurb about this books says this about the book:
Some agents are bigger than life. Kllip Lugre works for Russia. You might say that Lugre is the antithesis of James Bond. But not because he's the quintessential bad guy from the east. Lugre is Russian.  And in his eyes the west is the enemy. So, different strokes for different folks! It all depends who's propaganda you've been slurping since the last time you've wet your diapers. Get ready for an adventure that will introduce a different slice of reality.
When I read the book I had the exactly opposite thought:  the hero, Kliip Lugre (what a weird name!) is exactly a Russian version of the British 007: they both like sexy women, big cars, amazing stunts and fancy wealthy settings.  They both have a special status (077 a license to kill; Lugre reports directly to Putin) and they both like gadgets and guns.  This comparison of mine should immediately tell you that Russian's Diamonds is not a realistic spy novel at all, but a very entertaining but light read.

The book's plot centers around a sudden discovery of diamonds in Russia (I won't tell you how to avoid spoilers) and the struggle by Western powers to prevent Russia from creating a diamond backed "hard" Ruble.   Setting aside the diamond aspect of the book, the author - who clearly knows a lot about economics - presents a concentrated version of what is in reality already going on today even if the real-world struggle is not about a big chache of diamonds, but about all the wealth still available in Siberia.  From that point of view the book is rather very realistic and offers a very interesting discussion of fiat money versus real "hard" money.

What also makes this book unique is that the author is clearly in love with Russian weapons and technologies and reading this book will teach you a lot about Russian high-teach and fancy weapons.  The other unique feature of this books is that Putin (or "VVP") is actually a character in the book.  You even have him flying over Siberia in the supersonic Tu-160 strategic bomber.  If you like weapons and gadgets this book is a "must have" as it is the only book, at least as far as I know, who lovingly dwells on the many fancy special weapons Russians have in their arsenal.

You get the idea: great fun in a easy to read and well written book.  I personally did not like the character of the main female protagonist of the book and I could have done without the really not needed sex episodes, but these are minor gripes.  All in all the book is fun to read.

I definitely recommend this book to any fans of the British James Bond or to those who favor fun over realism.  The book is available for download in electronic format from Amazon's Kindle store for $9.99 here:

The Saker