Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia
In the new Russia, even dictatorship is a reality show.
Professional killers with the souls of artists, would-be theater directors turned Kremlin puppet-masters, suicidal supermodels, Hell’s Angels who hallucinate themselves as holy warriors, and oligarch revolutionaries: welcome to the glittering, surreal heart of twenty-first-century Russia. It is a world erupting with new money and new power, changing so fast it breaks all sense of reality, home to a form of dictatorship—far subtler than twentieth-century strains—that is rapidly rising to challenge the West.
When British producer Peter Pomerantsev plunges into the booming Russian TV industry, he gains access to every nook and corrupt cranny of the country. He is brought to smoky rooms for meetings with propaganda gurus running the nerve-center of the Russian media machine, and visits Siberian mafia-towns and the salons of the international super-rich in London and the US. As the Putin regime becomes more aggressive, Pomerantsev finds himself drawn further into the system.
Dazzling yet piercingly insightful, Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible is an unforgettable voyage into a country spinning from decadence into madness.
Longlisted for the 2015 Samuel Johnson Prize
An Amazon.com Best Book of the Month, November 2014—
“Captivating…keen observations.”–New York Times Book Review
“Sparkling collection of essays.”
—Wall Street Journal
“This is a gripping and unsettling account of life in grim post-Soviet Russia.”–Washington Post
“A scintillating take on a twisted reality.”–Prospect Magazine
“A patchwork tapestry that leaves you shaking your head in disbelief.”–The Guardian
“Everything you know about Russia is wrong, according to this eye-opening, mind-bending memoir of a TV producer caught between two cultures… the stylish rendering of the Russian culture, which both attracts and appalls the author, will keep the reader captivated.”–Kirkus, Starred Review
“Sometimes horrifying but always compelling, this book exposes the bizarre reality hiding beneath the facade of a ‘youthful, bouncy, glossy country.'”–Publishers Weekly
“It is hard to think of another work that better describes today’s Russia; Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible may very well be the defining book about the Putin era. This might seem like excessive praise for a relatively short, non-academic memoir by a reality-TV producer now living in London, but it is justified by the author’s gimlet eye and reportorial skill.”–Commentary Magazine
“A brilliant, entertaining, and ultimately tragic book about not only Russia, but the West.”–Tablet Magazine
About the Author