5 years ago
Vladimir Putin, President and former Prime Minister of Russia, today emerged in public after an eleven-day disappearance and revealed, "I just got really caught up in this awesome book."
Turning up as scheduled for a diplomatic meeting with the President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, in St Petersburg, Putin said, "I'm really terribly sorry I've been off the radar for so long; really I didn't even know people were looking for me. You know how a great book can draw you in."
Last seen on March 5, at a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Putin entirely vanished from the public eye until this morning, fuelling speculation that he had fallen victim to internecine Russian politics. The eyes of the world were on today's meeting with the leader of Kyrgyzstan, which was otherwise a routine meeting to discuss ongoing peaceful relations between neighbouring states.
Questioned about his long absence, the Russian leader (62) said, "I just picked up this book, you know, it's about the internet."
He then flourished a copy of James Goss's Haterz, out now from Solaris.
"I thought I was just going to read it for five minutes on the toilet, but with one thing and another I couldn't put it down.
"Obviously it doesn't take the leader of Great Russia eleven days to read a book! But I read it twice, you know, and made notes.
"I like the cats. Cats are funny, and cute. Also the bit where he has the man tied down and the bottle breaks - I laughed and laughed."
Asked if he would be reading more works by Goss, Putin declined to comment, but a spokesman for his office said he would be interested in arranging a meeting with the author.