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The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia Paperback – March 27, 2000
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is divided into eight chapters, four written by Ames and four by Taibbi. Many readers have complained that Ames' sections of the book are Waholianly dull, too petty, personal, splenous, what have you, while praising Taibbi's sections for their directness, adherence to and expressed admiration for basic journalistic principles and (false, false, false) relative modesty. But I will go on the record as admiring both.
Ames... poor Ames. A lot of his stuff will make readers cringe, but for every one of his self-pitying narratives about scabies or his girlfriend or his dependence on speed whenever left to get an issue of the eXile out by himself, there are still gems of hilarious realism like the following:
"What people forget in every article ever written about drugs is one simple, basic fact. PEOPLE TAKE DRUGS BECAUSE THEY'RE FUN. That's it. There's no mystery to the drug thing. Peiople drink water to quench their thirst, they have sex because it feels good; and they do drugs because they're fun...
Even Hunter S. and William Burroughs couldn't stait it that plainly;: they elevated drugs to the mythical level, keeping mum on the single most obvious, dangerous fact. So I'll repeat: PEOPLE DO DRUGS BECAUSE THEY'RE FUN. It's no different from alcohol or roller coasters except that drugs are A LOT BETTER.Read more ›
Following any standards is not what authors had in mind. Among their goals - if any - they proclaim "... is protecting Russia from going the way of Prague. From becoming a domesticated, obedient member of the Global Village".
One of the more astute observations in "The Exile" is about Moscow numerous "expats" community, for which the authors readily have inexhaustible amount of scorn and derision. By the early '90-s there wasn't a shortage of Westerners, particularly Americans, plodding Moscow streets. Romantic idealists, careerists wishing to nail a fashionable piece of "emerging markets" on their resumes, fly-by-night sleazebags and crooks, hopeless losers of various sorts trying to make it "on the new frontier" and then running back, tail between the legs, and writing ridiculous "revelations" like "Moscow Madness". One of the most conspicuous crowds were the hordes of Western young MBA consultants and advisers, the likes of what is known as "Andersen androids" and similar telling nicknames. It was a peculiar bunch. They mostly stuffed "...Read more ›
This book made me take a step back and re-analyze the schlock that "major" newspapers are willing to print. I may not have wanted to be fast friends with Ames or Taibbi, but it's good to know there are yellow journalists out there willing to put their lives on the line to challenge the status quo. This book seemed to encapsulize exactly what the eXile was about -- the humor of those who take themselves too seriously, the outlandishness of excess, and ultimately the truth of what lies behind a carefully sculpted facade of Western media spin.
Kudos to Grove/Atlantic to have the fortitude to publish this controversial work!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want to know what really happened in Russia between Gorbachev and Putin, this is the book for you. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Reader From Boston
If, like me, your awareness of Matt Taibbi began post Goldman Sachs Vampire Squid, then you may wonder about his not-infrequent allusions to the drug use and dissolute ways of his... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Howard Skillington
This is honestly one of the few books I've read that changed my life, and one of the few I make a point to re-read once a year. Read morePublished on July 16, 2013 by Matt W.
The book descriptions and supporting blurb are woefully misleading.
You will also note that "95% of the reviews for this "book" here on Amazon are dated circa year... Read more
matt taibbi is a god among writers and this book shows his burst from the eggshell.
"... Read more
the eXile is a "must read" - written by brave people who present themselves as people you'd love to hate. Read morePublished on November 4, 2011 by jeremy arter
I saw this guy Mark Ames speak on a talk program about Timothy Geithner. He was in Russia during the transition to a market economy (or what passes as a market-based economy). Read morePublished on March 2, 2010 by Kellie
I got "The Exile" because I wanted to read Taibbi's early work. For that, I'm punished a thousand times because I was forced to read Mark Ames. Read morePublished on October 10, 2009 by ThirdShift