I loved this book and the really great gentlemanly voice of its narrator. The book captures a man, a voice, a view that was a moment captured in time amongst the world changing around him. This is a great study of tone and style above all, and the ending was both beautifully surprising and fitting. (spoiler alert!) The aristocratic Russian who is under house arrest for so many years after the revolution finally breaks free. And where is the one place he longs to go to as an old man? Not anywhere free, not anywhere that would move him forward in life and time. Instead, he moves back, returning to his hometown, to his family's old estate, to the place that had defined him for all his childhood, young adulthood, and throughout his exile/imprisonment.
I have a lingering interest in Russia from my comparative literature days, and I had the vague fantasy of visiting the country during this year of travel, though it looks more and more likely that I won't. I still haven't made it over there, even though I studied the language for so many years. One day I will.
I haven't really read anything set in modern day Russia, so my impression of the country is all empire and then hard rule and then literati and nostalgia. Though you could say there are some similarities. Red Notice was a memoir about a hedge fund manager running his company, Hermitage, in Russia and coming to butt heads with oligarchs and even the president himself, navigating himself and his company through the mess of a country that Russia was and is.
Entertaining, dramatic storytelling, though at times you get the feeling that Bill is the hero and nothing else. Where is his growth? Where is his redemption? He runs around making money and fighting evil. Good vs bad and he's always on the right side. I want to know more about him, even though this book is all about him. I guess that is one of the things we come to expect in memoir - a grappling with self, both good and bad, honest and raw - that I didn't get from this book. But the story was certainly interesting. I read this during a quick trip to Buenos Aires, where our tour guide complained about Argentina's own history of corruption, crime, and faulty economic policy.