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Review: Limonov by Emmanuel Carrère

carrerbinbLimonov: A Novel by Emmanuel Carrère (Allen Lane, £20)

The French writer Emmanuel Carrère, himself partly Russian, has written a hugely readable bestseller, now fluently translated by John Lambert, about Eduard Limonov, a picaresque outsider from Ukraine, by turns a small-time hooligan, failed poet, bisexual exhibitionist, obsessive autobiographer and minor politician. Carrère calls his book a novel, or perhaps a “novel.” The confusion is deliberate. Limonov himself doesn’t know whether to endorse Carrère’s version of his life or not. But it does parallel the known facts of his career, even if some of…

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