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Turkish Gambit by Boris Akunin
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Turkish Gambit (original 1998; edition 2005)

by Boris Akunin

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888219,955 (3.58)49
Member:Tanks
Title:Turkish Gambit
Authors:Boris Akunin
Info:Phoenix (2005), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:Novel

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The Turkish Gambit by Boris Akunin (1998)

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English (17)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  All languages (21)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
The year is 1877. Russia and the Ottoman Empire are at war. Erast Fandorin, a former diplomat, heart-broken and disillusioned, has gone to the front to forget his sorrows. In this treacherous atmosphere of a Russian field army, he is captured by the Turks, but wins his freedom in a game of backgammon. Meanwhile, he inadvertently rescues Varya Suvorova, a deadly serious, deliciously beautiful woman with revolutionary ideals disguised as a boy to gain access to the Russian camp to reunite with her respected comrade and fiancé. Varya is incensed by Fandorian's aristocratic leanings and can hardly bear to thank a “lackey of the throne." Then a spy is suspected in the camp. When Varya’s fiancé is accused of espionage and faces execution, she turns to Fandorin to find the real culprit . . . a mission that forces her to reckon with his courage, deductive mind, and piercing gaze. Reader is fluent in Russian. ( )
  icre8dstny | Aug 26, 2015 |
Disappointing. I have read a couple of other Fandorin mysteries and liked them better. The story meandered through excessive expositions and digressions, and we got to see very little of Fandorin. The main point of view in the book belonged to a highly annoying young woman and well before the end of the book I was longing to be out of her company for good. ( )
  chillybee | Dec 3, 2013 |
I generally like mysteries that are also historical fiction, so I was disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more. I don't know whether it is the translation from Russian or the writer's style, but despite the quite good plot, I found this slow-going. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
This is one of a series of novels featuring Erast Fandorin, sometimes investigator, spy, and whatever else is required of him. The setting is the Balkins during the Russo-Turkish war with the novel opening in July, 1877. Treason, murder, and politics mix here in an adventure featuring Varvara Suvorova (who has traveled to the front to be with Pyotr, her intended) and Fandorin, who has rescued her from a bunch of ruffians. They find themselves given the assignment to ferret out any Turkish spies and so on.

At this point, I really didn't know what I thought about the book but as I continued reading my interest in finding out what came next increased and in the end I did enjoy Akunin's novel. Thus I'll be returning this book to my shelves and I might read another of Akunin's books.
  hailelib | Jan 8, 2013 |
This is the third in the Erast Fandoriin series. It is something of a detective/spy novel set in 1877 Bulgaria during the Russo-Turk War. The characters are wonderfully drawn. The inscrutable Erast Fandorin is a fascinating character, and I liked the young, idealistic Varvara Suvorova. The history is interesting, and the plot was exciting and intrigueing. Excellent stuff! ( )
  bookwoman247 | Aug 3, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Unlike the slam-bang events of ''The Winter Queen," which left this reader breathless, ''The Turkish Gambit" is a slower and more cynical book.
 
Andrew Bromfeld's excellent translation is as enjoyably dynamic as the original. It succeeds in conveying the writer-patriot's message to his many Russian readers that, in her pre-revolutionary past, Russia was surrounded by enemies, unable to trust even her allies, and that this is still the case. Thus Akunin's novels afford the English reader not only some fine entertainment, but also a conscious vision of something that Akunin's Russian fans probably access only on the level of the subconscious.
 

» Add other authors (37 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Boris Akuninprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bromfield, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klemelä, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sloane, LisaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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San Agustín decía que la mujer es una criatura débil e inestable. Y aquel santo misógino tenía razón, toda la razón del mundo; al menos en lo que se refiere a una señorita que responde al nombre de Varvara Suvorova.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0812968786, Paperback)

Russian author Boris Akunin clearly delights in literary experimentation. The Winter Queen, his first novel to win U.S. release, was a police procedural, introducing a young but brilliant detective named Erast Petrovich Fandorin, serving in 1876 Moscow. However, Murder on the Leviathan (actually the third entry in the Fandorin series, but published second in the States) was quite different--an homage to formulaic Golden Age whodunits, taking place on a luxurious steamship. Now comes The Turkish Gambit, which is more a combination of war novel and romance, rather than crime fiction, with the majority of its mysteries so transparent as to barely merit the label.

The action here takes place in 1877 and 1878, on the Balkan front of a military conflict pitting tsarist Russia against the Ottoman Empire. Into this realm of posturing commanders and the foreign journalists whose florid prose makes those officers look better (or worse) than they really are ride Fandorin, now with the diplomatic corps, and Varya Suvorova, a strong-willed 22-year-old telegraphist hoping to reunite on the battlefield with her "future fiancé," an army volunteer. But Varya's efforts are frustrated when her intended is accused of espionage. His release can only be won by identifying the real informant-cum-saboteur, in which task Varya is willing to cooperate with Fandorin, despite her dislike of the stuttering and apparently "cold, disagreeable" former policeman. Amid profuse digressions concerning Turkish politics, female suffrage, and the harem system ("without it many women would quite simply starve to death"), Varya--trailed by lustful correspondents--investigates a suspicious colonel in Bucharest, only to become party to a deadly duel. A pair of officers are subsequently murdered, a guilt-ridden soldier hangs himself, and a British plot against Russia is alleged.

Akunin (the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili) nimbly portrays the tumultuous atmosphere of 19th-century combat, complete with ear-splitting cannon blasts and hard-charging cossacks. His dialogue is frequently clever, and in Varya he has created a woman fully capable of steering yarns and stopping hearts. Yet The Turkish Gambit is so laden with expendable exchanges, trivial players, and hieings off to hither and yon, that the reader's interest may wane well short of this story's dramatic climax. --J. Kingston Pierce

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:45 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The Russo-Turkish war is at a critical juncture, and Erast Fandorin, broken-hearted and disillusioned has gone to the front in an attempt to forget his sorrows. But he will need to resurrect all of his dormant powers of detection if he is to unmask a traitor in the Russian camp.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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