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.
"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
I began this wonderful series with the first book, the winter queen. It was perfectly fine, and one must read it, but the second book, The Turkish Gambit, is a tour de force. In particular the reader is wonderful and gives more of a sense of the excitement and the color of the original language than any other reader I can imagine. I will go on and read the whole series in part
because of the skill of this reader
A spellbinding story. Excitement, the glamour of late 19th century gentry etiquette and a fantastic historic plot all contribute to making this a good listen. I finished it in two days and was glued to the headphones for the last hour.
The performance is brilliant and gives the story an added dimension. Convincing French and Russian accents for the appropriate characters help to keep them distinct as well as more fun to listen to.
Definitely recommended. Go ahead and get it.
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!!!
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