A fascinating story of a fascinating time and place (the old Eastern block as it crumbles and stumbles out of decades of Communism) with psychologically complex characters who experience real emotions, and it just happens to also be an engaging thriller.
I found Muller's narration to be difficult to follow for the first hour or two. He uses a very deep, quiet baritone to express the Arkady's ennui, which is appropriate. But I found the narration nearly inaudible in places near the beginning and thought every sentence was read in the same sad, declining cadence. A firey explosion is narrated in the same sad, slow tone of voice he uses to describe Arkady's jaded interactions with black marketeers. However, once he gets his rhythm, Muller's voice really finds a nice, easy to follow tone that adds a lot to the story. (Or maybe I just got used to it.)
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