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Publisher's Summary

From the Russian masters of sci-fi comes The Dead Mountaineer's Inn, a hilarious spoof on the classic country-house murder mystery.

When Inspector Peter Glebsky arrives at a remote ski chalet on vacation, the last thing he intends to do is get involved in any police work. He's there to ski, drink brandy, and loaf around in blissful solitude. But he hadn't counted on the other vacationers, an eccentric bunch, including a famous hypnotist, a physicist with a penchant for gymnastic feats, a sulky teenager of indeterminate gender, and the mysterious Mr. and Mrs. Moses. And as the chalet fills up, strange things start happening - things that seem to indicate the presence of another, unseen guest. Is there a ghost on the premises? A prankster? Something more sinister?

When an avalanche blocks the mountain pass and traps everyone in the chalet, the corpse is finally discovered. Glebsky's vacation is over, and he's embarked on the most unusual investigation he's ever been involved with. In fact the further he looks into it, the more Glebsky realizes that the victim may not even be human.

In this late novel from the legendary Russian sci-fi duo - here in its first-ever English translation - the Strugatskys gleefully upend the plot of many an Hercule Poirot mystery - and the result is much funnier and much stranger than anything Agatha Christie ever wrote.

©1970 Arkady and Boris Strugatsky. Translation © 2015 by Josh Billings. Introduction © 2015 by Jeff VanderMeer (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

SKIP THE INTRODUCTION IF YOU’VE NEVER READ THIS BOOK

I’ve never read a Strugatsky brothers book before but I enjoyed The Dead Mountaineer’s Inn once I got an ear for the pacing and dialogue. The book is full of odd non-sequiturs, mostly in the dialogue, but I imagine most of those arise from cultural differences as well as from the difference between modern, Western writing and the writing style of mid 1900’s Russia. However, by the time I’d finished the book, the quaint, oddball characters had become old friends and I look forward to listening to the book again in the future.
My main complaint was the translator’s wholly unnecessary and (I felt) rather masturbatory introduction, which contained spoiler-filled overviews of the major characters and plot line. It would not have been out of place at the end of the book, but listening to it at the beginning almost caused me to return the book before I’d even made it to the story itself. Even having finished the book now, I feel as if my view of the characters is still tainted by the translator’s opinions of them. Save the introduction for the end if you wish to go into the story with a fresh, unsullied perspective.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Wayne
  • Matthews, NC
  • 05-31-18

Spoof of the murder mystery genre!

Russian brothers Arkady and Boris Strugatsky released this humor novel in 1970 and it was released in English 12 years later. It is actually quite funny as they imitate classic murder mystery novels quite well. Narration is outstanding.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good, but poor in the end.

The ending of this novel was not exactly on parr with the rest of the book. As the mystery progresses you are takin in, making guesses of your own, wild interpretations of what the clues really meant, and then everything is wrong and just twisted and stupid. I won’t spoil anything of course but the ending does not make it not worth a read if you like Russian science fiction.

45 of 52 people found this review helpful

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Narrator made this more interesting than it was.

The story started out interesting, the climax was okay, but the relationships between two characters made the ending worthwhile. It's a hard thing to do, but the narrator made it entertaining.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Pretty fun read.

I think that the introduction overplays the "abstract" nature of the story. It is strange, but doesn't dwell on its own strangeness very long. It's interesting how two Cold War Russian writers imagined aliens and detective novels.

30 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting and Odd.

Would you try another book from Arkady Strugatsky and Boris Strugatsky and/or Keith Szarabajka?

Road side picnic was better. This one is odd and you should try it out.

Any additional comments?

Worth a read if you're into the genre. It gets better as it goes along and gets really weird by the end.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Worth the time and money

If you like things like the movie "Clue" with Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, and Tim Curry, you will love this book. Take it for what it is. Comedy, satire, and strange. I love writers that have this kind of imagination.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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wonderful well written story

once again the Strugatsky's have amazed me with their incredible emersive story telling. A recommendation for any lover of literature.

11 of 18 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Guess It's OK

Not really what I expected from the story, which is OK I suppose, but can't say that I really enjoyed it. Perhaps something was lost in translation.

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Bad plot

Bad plot twist at the end that was totally unbelievable. The story plot didn’t seem to support the ending.