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The Turkish Gambit (1998)

by Boris Akunin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Erast Fandorin (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2302615,835 (3.59)68
"[Akunin] writes gloriously pre-Soviet prose, sophisticated and suffused in Slavic melanchioly and thoroughly worthy of nineteenth-century forebearers like Gogol and Chekhov." -Time 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 nineteenth-century Russian field army, former diplomat and detective extraordinaire Erast Fandorin finds his most confounding case. It's 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 fiancé-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. From the Hardcover edition.… (more)
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» See also 68 mentions

English (22)  Spanish (3)  Dutch (1)  All languages (26)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
I'm lying when I say I've 'finished' this book. I gave it a couple of goes, but never got beyond page 60. I couldn't get to grips with the cast of thousands (well, dozens, anyway)and perhaps its only fault really was in being a swashbuckling tale of derring-do. I don't really do swashbuckling tales of derring-do, so I'm not really one to judge. But I couldn't finish it. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
This novel soon had me searching for information about the Russo-Turkish war in 1877/78, a war I knew nothing about. The reader meets Varvara Suvorova, a Russian woman at the beginning of the novel. She has made her way from Russia to Romania to be with her fiance, a cryptographer with the Russian army at their HQ. She is thrilled by her romantic gesture as she arrives dressed as a man but hadn't really thought through how she would be received in a military camp. She meets lots of journalists, who are covering the war, and Erast Fandorin, whose powers of detection are more obscure than any detective you will come across. A mixture of farce, derring-do, romance, intrigue and military action, the characters vary some more richly drawn than others. All in all this novel didn't quite hang together for me. ( )
  CarolKub | Jan 9, 2023 |
Set during a time when Russia and the Turks at war in 1877, Erast Fandorin finds himself accompanying a woman whose fiancee is covering the war. She is determined to reach him. When the Turks capture her, he wins her back by gambling. She must pose as his personal assistant to be allowed to continue seeking her fiancee whom they are certain has been captured. The plot deals more with espionage than being a true mystery, and while there are murders, they all stem from the espionage element. I did not like the first installment, but I mistakenly read the third next and enjoyed it quite a bit. I did not really enjoy this one--mainly because I don't enjoy espionage that much. I listened to the audio book read by Paul Michael. ( )
  thornton37814 | May 16, 2022 |
Despite its slim plotline, I found the intrigue inviting. There wasn't a great deal of presence but it was an acceptable escape, for those so inclined. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Interesting characters and plot, but the names were rather difficult. I wish I'd read the first book of the series first and that I had known more about this Russo-Turkish War and the Crimean War before reading.
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (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

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Boris Akuninprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bagi, IbolyaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bromfield, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cañete Fuillerat, RafaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Czech, JerzyTł.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Einberg, VeronikaTÕlkijasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ent, Arie van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gallenzi, MircoTraduttoresecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gosztyła, Krzysztoflektorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hodson, SteveNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hootkins, WilliamReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klemelä, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klemelä, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mõisnik, KristaToimetajasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Michael, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miró, CarlesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Remlov, KaiNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reschke, RenateÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reschke, ThomasÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rogde, IsakTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rotkirch, KristinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruokonen, MarttiKujundajasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sloane, LisaDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sokologorsky, IrèneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soukupová, ZuzanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steck, JohannesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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According to Saint Augustine, woman is a frail and fickle creature, and the great obscurantist and misogynist was right a thousand times over -- at least with regard to a certain individual by the name of Varvara Suvorova.
La Revue Parisienne

14 (2) July 1877

Our correspondent, now already in his second week with the Russian Army of the Danube, informs is that in his order of the day for yesterday, 1st July (13th July in the European style), the Emperor Alexander thanks his victorious troops, who have succeeded in forcing a crossing of the Danube and breaching the borders of the Ottoman state.
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"[Akunin] writes gloriously pre-Soviet prose, sophisticated and suffused in Slavic melanchioly and thoroughly worthy of nineteenth-century forebearers like Gogol and Chekhov." -Time 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 nineteenth-century Russian field army, former diplomat and detective extraordinaire Erast Fandorin finds his most confounding case. It's 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 fiancé-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. From the Hardcover edition.

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