The Turkish Gambit : Erast Fandorin

  • by Boris Akunin
  • Narrated by Paul Michael
  • Series: Erast Fandorin
  • 7 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 19th-century Russian field army, former diplomat and detective extraordinaire Erast Fandorin finds his most confounding case. 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.

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What the Critics Say

"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)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

intriguing story - disappointingly read

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.
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- Ines

He's no Alan Furst

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.
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- Marian Morrison "Marian Morrison"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-18-2005
  • Publisher: Books on Tape