Andrey (azangru) wrote,

Listening to Michael Idov’s "Dressed up for a Riot".

Phonetically, it's a mixed bag. Idov is reading his book himself, which, on the plus side, means there aren’t any mangled Russian names, which plague almost every audiobook that has them in it and seriously grate on the nerves. On the other hand, he is no voice actor, and his diction is pretty weak, making the audiobook sound more like a LibriVox recording of a public domain text by a volunteer than a proper audiobook. He would also make an interesting subject for phonetic analysis: I am not sure about his consonants and vowels, but his intonation, at least while he is reading, sounds very Russian.

As for the book itself, it is Idov’s recollections of his life in Moscow, starting a little before Moscow winter protests of 2011. He writes about the fashionable and glamorous liberal circles (the word yuppie comes to mind) full of familiar names. Which makes me wonder about the intended audience of the book — it seems too detailed and specific to be interesting to someone unfamiliar with Russia. (And yet its Amazon rating is quite high.)

I think I am enjoying it more than most of the books about the modern Russia that I’ve read. Perhaps it’s the personal story along with the natural distancing of a foreigner. Or perhaps it’s because he is not rehashing the same background details that others have already done, and so he is not immediately boring. Or perhaps he is actually a decent writer.

And, as it turns out, he pronounces his last name with an aye — ai-dov. I was sure it’s ee-dov.

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