A provocative, razor-sharp, and timely debut novel about a beloved English professor facing a slew of accusations against her professor husband by former students—a situation that becomes more complicated when she herself develops an obsession of her own…
“When I was a child, I loved old men, and I could tell that they also loved me.”
And so we are introduced to our deliciously incisive narrator: a popular English professor whose charismatic husband at the same small liberal arts college is under investigation for his inappropriate relationships with his former students. The couple have long had a mutual understanding when it comes to their extra-marital pursuits, but with these new allegations, life has become far less comfortable for them both. And when our narrator becomes increasingly infatuated with Vladimir, a celebrated, married young novelist who’s just arrived on campus, their tinder box world comes dangerously close to exploding.
With this bold, edgy, and uncommonly assured debut, author Julia May Jonas takes us into charged territory, where the boundaries of morality bump up against the impulses of the human heart. Propulsive, darkly funny, and wildly entertaining, Vladimir perfectly captures the personal and political minefield of our current moment, exposing the nuances and the grey area between power and desire.
Title : Vladimir
Author : Julie May Jonas
Narrator : Rebecca Lowman
Format : Audiobook
Length : 9 hours, 40 min
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Audio
Release Date : Feb 1, 2022
Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★
Micky’s 3 star review
Contemporary fiction in academia
A spiral of events
This was a strange listen and one that I don’t think was well represented by the cover, which I initially took to be historical romance. In reality, this is a story not centering on Vladimir but an academic, an English professor and the narrator of the story who becomes obsessed with Vladimir. She was in her late 50s, we never knew her name and she was feeling ‘past it’. Every single person in this book had an ego the size of a high rise building.
The narrator of the story was a narcissist but then so were her husband John, Vladimir and pretty much all the other characters presented. Not one of them was likeable but there was something incredibly compelling about this eventual spiral of wild events that kept you listening. The side story of her husband being investigated for long-term sexual infractions with students was an interesting storyline but more so, was the narrators non-plussed reaction to the situation.
There wasn’t a lot of relatable relationships in this book but plenty of self-gratification, obsession and self-serving behaviours. The culmination of the story was not really what I expected but still interesting.
I didn’t love this book, I’m not sure I even liked it because the characters are so unlikeable. However, I did want to listen and get back to the book, it was like waiting for the accident to happen. Good narration supporting the listening experience.
Thank you to Libro FM and Simon & Schuster Audio for the review copy.