To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness.
Review this product
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
5.0 out of 5 starsVery interesting
Reviewed in the United States on July 7, 2020
Not only entertaining but very interesting! He is a very good writer and I read it in no time. Wonder what comes next!
5.0 out of 5 stars"It turns out I have been pursuing a phantom for almost two weeks ..."
Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2018
Boris Akunin's Erast Fandorin mysteries are a wonder to read: each story is unique in form and style - one may be a closed-door mystery, another an ethnographic mystery, still another a mystery involving international intrigue. If you are unfamiliar with this masterful writer, I cannot recommend him to you with enough enthusiasm - you are in for a treat. _Black City_ is Akunin's 12th book featuring Fandorin, a political thriller set in Baku (hence the title, Azerbaijan once the center of Russian oil production) in the summer of 1914 as the world is moving towards war.
In the midst of the growing crisis, Fandorin must track down a radical subversive who is seeking to push Russia and the world into world-wide revolution. To my delight, Akunin makes reference to several revolutionaries who will have an impact on Russia and the world in the coming years. In the meantime, Fandorin finds himself in a number of compromising positions: his wife (the actress Clara from _All the World's A Stage_) is about to have an affair; Masa his loyal companion is unable to assist Fandorin, and Fandorin himself is a fish out of water in the world of high finance and cut-throat capitalism that is the oil industry in Baku.
Typical of Akunin, a Japanophile, there are numerous and rich references to Japanes culture here as well - in this case, Fandorin's challenge to himself to write "nikki-do" -the way of the diary- a formal style of meditative poetry whose aim is to provide clarity of mind, efficiency of action and personal enlightenment - every day for a year. As Fandorin executes these meditative poems, the solution to the problems presented in plot gradually unfolds. The climax and resolution of the story were surprising - and delightful, as I was blindsided by the final twist.
_Black City_ is a rollercoaster of a tale with much to recommend in it. If you have not been introduced to this author's work, you will not be disappointed. My highest recommendations.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 24, 2019
I was hooked the first time I read a Fandorin mystery (a few pence in a charity shop). The plot is again excellent, as is the translation. When reading books set in unfamiliar settings, I do find that I need to look up references. In this book two items turned out to anachronisms. The Danish comedy film wasn't made until the 1930's - and the actors didn't make their first film until 1917. The other odd one was a reference to cellulite. The OED gives the 1960s for the first use, whereas wiki gives the 1920s. As my partner has pointed out, any historical drama tends to have a soto voce soundtrack of 'ain't so'. Ignore thses minor points from a pendant abd enjoy the story. BTW there are supposed to be a couple more in the pipeline (unintentional pun).
5.0 out of 5 starsA superb addition to a classic detective series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 5, 2019
I have been a huge fan of Erast Petrovich Fandorin from the very beginning. This book will in no way disappoint his many fans. The action is set in Baku in the summer of 1914 and the Black city is the heart of the oil industry in Russia. Fandorin has to track and apprehend a terrorist who is a serious threat to the empire. The activities of a certain Koba (aka Joseph Stalin) are referenced here. The pace of the action is relentless with a number of twists and turns which I shall not reveal here. A memorable page turner with the most shocking twist at the end.