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The Turkish Gambit | [Boris Akunin]

The Turkish Gambit

It is 1877, and war has broken out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The Bulgarian front resounds with the thunder of cavalry charges, the roar of artillery, and the clash of steel on steel during the world's last great horse-and-cannon conflict. Amid the treacherous atmosphere of a 19th-century Russian field army, former diplomat and detective extraordinaire Erast Fandorin finds his most confounding case.
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Publisher's Summary

It is 1877, and war has broken out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. The Bulgarian front resounds with the thunder of cavalry charges, the roar of artillery, and the clash of steel on steel during the world's last great horse-and-cannon conflict. Amid the treacherous atmosphere of a 19th-century Russian field army, former diplomat and detective extraordinaire Erast Fandorin finds his most confounding case.

Its difficulties are only compounded by the presence of Varya Suvorova, a deadly serious (and seriously beautiful) woman with revolutionary ideals who has disguised herself as a boy in order to find her respected comrade, and fiance, Pyotr Yablokov, an army cryptographer. Even after Fandorin saves her life, Varya can hardly bear to thank such a "lackey of the throne" for his efforts.

But when Yablokov is accused of espionage and faces imprisonment and execution, Varya must turn to Fandorin to find the real culprit...a mission that forces her to reconsider his courage, deductive mind, and piercing gaze.

Filled with the same delicious detail, ingenious plotting, and subtle satire as The Winter Queen and Murder on the Leviathan, The Turkish Gambit confirms Boris Akunin's status as a master of the historical thriller, and Erast Fandorin as a detective for the ages.

©2005 Boris Akunin; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Akunin provides readers with vivid historical detail, witty dialogue, and colorful characters. Those who love historical mysteries and Russian intrigue will be delighted with his latest offering." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (88 )
5 star
 (30)
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 (29)
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 (18)
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 (8)
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4.0 (26 )
5 star
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3 star
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Story
4.3 (26 )
5 star
 (11)
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Performance
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  •  
    Svetlana OR, United States 10-19-06
    Svetlana OR, United States 10-19-06 Member Since 2004

    CBETA

    HELPFUL VOTES
    64
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    "Third Book of Erast Fandorin Series"

    This book is the third in the Fandorin Series. This series is quite remarkable, in sense that Akunin tries different styles of a mystery in each part: the Leviathan story is written in A. Christie's style, for instance – the Oriental express comes to mind immediately. This one is a war espionage story told by a young woman who ran to the frontline to see her fianc?. As any other Fandorin story, it is enchanting – the language and the main character are quite captivating.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kai Bexley, OH, United States 05-29-10
    Kai Bexley, OH, United States 05-29-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A pleasure to find this author"

    This is my first Boris Akunin novel and I consider it a wonderful find. Refreshing as it presents a non-anglo view of world events. Based on this I will be reading more of this authors work.
    Enjoy!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ines 04-02-05
    Ines 04-02-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    1
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    "intriguing story - disappointingly read"

    All of Akunin's Fandorin-novels are cleverly constructed mysteries, playing expertly with the genre; so is "Turkish Gambit", read here by Paul Michael, however, in a rather blank manner, with affected accents for the dialogues and in an otherwise quite nondescript voice. Reader's interpretations are, of course, a question of personal preference; try e.g. Michael Kramer reading Akunin's "Murder on the Leviathan" and choose for yourselves.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Georgia Plymouth, MA, United States 04-17-12
    Georgia Plymouth, MA, United States 04-17-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Now I am an Erast Fandorin fan"

    I bought this book because Paul Michael was the narrator. I recently finished The Historian and Paul Michael did a great job with that narration. That may be why I bought it, but what made me listen to it twice and then read all the other Erast Fandorin's novels was Boris Akunin's superb story telling ability. Akunin's prose is satisfying, the plot keeps you guessing and the 19th century eastern European setting will make you want to learn a lot more about Fandorin's world.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca brentwood, CA, United States 08-01-08
    Rebecca brentwood, CA, United States 08-01-08 Member Since 2007

    Daily Dog Walker and LONG Silicon Valley commutes, so I gulp through and love lotsa books, especially literary fiction and Mystery.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a little too much Varvara, not enough Fandorin..."

    not crazy about this book in the Erast Fandorin sequence. Although one of the later, better books highlights a character in this one, I'd be inclined to tell readers they can do without this one. Most of the book is focused upon Varvara rather than Fandorin, and at least in translation I found it a bit hard to follow the variety of characters and to harbor much sympathy or empathy for Varvara. The book wasn't as entertaining as the other Akunin books, and didn't gel together -- if someone told me it had been written in serial form I would have believed it. Okay, but if you're plowing through the Akunin novels I wouldn't urge this one upon you...

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angus Davis 08-17-07
    Angus Davis 08-17-07 Member Since 2007

    aragornelxxii

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Would that it were 4 stars."

    I loved "Achilles", esp book 2. I find Akunin's writing, Russian sensibility and historical color very engaging. Paul Mitchell's narration does the material justice. "Gambit", however, was a disappointment, more so since my expectations were high. The heroine, who occupies most of the stage, is a flat character, anachronistic and stereotypical. The crusty characters who react to her are a relief and Fandorin is as enchanting as ever. The plot is forgettable. I'm not sorry I took the time to listen to the book, because of the promise Akunin shows. However, I am a little wary of getting "Leviathan" for fear of a second disappointment.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marian Morrison Arlington, VA USA 09-27-05
    Marian Morrison Arlington, VA USA 09-27-05 Member Since 2005

    Marian Morrison

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    Overall
    "He's no Alan Furst"

    A rather dull listen. While it is described on the website as a "thriller", there are only a few really interesting and engrossing scenes, with lots of dull filler in between. The historical value is limited; although there are some fairly interesting discussions of the Turks, such as the reality of the harem and the risk of being in line for the sultan's throne, we never travel behind Turkish lines to get perspective of those characters.

    There's nothing really wrong with this book, but there are so many better options in the genre that I cannot recommend spending that much time listening to this, rather than other, options. The emotions and reactions of the protagonist are somewhat sophmoric, and romance is so understated that it might as well be absent.

    I can't write novels so I don't want to be too critical, but as an adviser to someone considering buying this title, I would have to suggest that you consider other options. For quality writing and historic interest, try Alan Furst. For pure suspense and entertainment on a much lighter level, try Bernard Cornwell.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ktkat1949 BC CANADA 03-01-11
    ktkat1949 BC CANADA 03-01-11 Member Since 2013

    ktkat49

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Vavaryan Goes To War?"

    Very disappointing after Winter Queen and Leviathan. Gave up after chapter 10 as I didn't care what happened to anyone in the book. Way too much of a spoiled stupid immature child and very little of the supposed hero of the series. Even after supposedly nursing the dead and wounded in war she still comes across as vapid and self obsessed. What was the writer thinking when he wrote this??
    I am not sure I want to continue reading the series if this is the way it is going.If I could give it zero stars I would.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-8 of 8 results
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  • John L.
    6/28/06
    Overall
    "Best Yet"

    I think the combination of the excellent story telling and the fascinating plot make this easily one of the best historical novels I have ever listened to - Brilliant!!!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
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