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Turkish Gambit (Erast Fandorin, No. 2) (Erast Fandorin 3) [Paperback]

Boris Akunin
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Oct 2005 Erast Fandorin 3

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 Fandorin's efforts to steer clear of trouble are thwarted when he comes to the aid of Varvara Suvorova - a 'progressive' Russian woman trying to make her way to the Russian headquarters to join her fiancé.

Within days, Varvara's fiancé has been accused of treason, a Turkish victory looms on the horizon, and there are rumours of a Turkish spy hiding within their own camp. Our reluctant gentleman sleuth will need to resurrect all of his dormant powers of detection if he is to unmask the traitor, help the Russians to victory and smooth the path of young love.

Frequently Bought Together

Turkish Gambit (Erast Fandorin, No. 2) (Erast Fandorin 3) + The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin 1) + Murder on the Leviathan
Price For All Three: 19.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix (5 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753819996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753819999
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 78,187 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'great entertainment.' -- OBSERVER

Book Description

Erast Fandorin returns in another thrilling Russian crime caper, from the bestselling author of THE WINTER QUEEN.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful! 19 July 2006
By Didier TOP 500 REVIEWER
The plot is captivating. That is one. Erast Fandorin is one of the most likeable detectives ever. That is two. There's a host of other quixotic characters. That is three. The language is delightful (three cheers for the translator). That is four. The humour is at times hilarious. That is five.

Conclusion: by all means buy this book!
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turkish Gambit, Boris Akunin 29 Jan 2005
By RachelWalker TOP 500 REVIEWER
I think I know why they translated this novel (chronologically, the second of the series) third. It's demands a kind of prior appreciation of what Akunin can do, a knowledge of how good he is, before you can fully appreciate it. Turkish Gambit is, without doubt, as good as last year's Murder on the Leviathan, a wickedly witty, masterfully observed - and also reverent - pastiche of the Christie style crime genre. However, it's superior to the first, The Winter Queen. Anyone who read and liked either of those novels will not be disappointed by this.
As a background, the Russo-Turkish war is obscure. That's both a benefit and a drawback. The fact that you'll rarely have read a centring on that period makes this completely original, but given that you've probably no knowledge of it at all, it requires a bit of effort to get straight. It's a challenge, perhaps, but it is without doubt a rewarding. It's a very effective setting, in the end, for this war-based pastiche.
I entirely enjoyed this novel. I dock a star only because Leviathan was so utterly superb. It's exciting, very funny indeed, twisty, and Akunin's writing is as tart and sly as ever. I love it. With every book, Fandorin seems to become even more of an enigma, which is a nice trick to pull off. By all means, buy this book if you've enjoyed either of his others: it's more of the glorious same, and yet is entirely original as well.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Erast Fandorin Mystery 8 Mar 2005
By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Boris Akunin's Erast Fandorin series has been spectacularly successful in Russia. Akunin's books have sold millions of copies there. Akunin, whose real name is Grigori Chkhartisvili, was born in (Soviet) Georgia. He grew up in Kazakhstan and then Moscow. Highly educated, Akunin was a student of linguistics, editor of a scholarly literary journal and a Japanese-Russian translator. He turned to writing these stories at age 40 during his self-described mid-life crisis. He saw a niche between the serious tomes that marked Russian literature (Tolstoy, Solzhenitsyn, etc.) and the mass market pulp fiction that dominated the low end of the post-Communist literary market. His book sales both in Russia and in Europe and the United States have proved him correct.
Turkish Gambit takes place in 1877. Russia is at war with Turkey after Russia and Serbia came to the aid of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria in their struggle to free themselves from rule by the Ottoman Empire. The war had important implications for all of Europe. The war was concluded at the Congress of Berlin, a congress that pretty much stripped the Russians of the gains they had made in the war. The Congress of Berlin humiliated the Russians and paved the way for future unrest in the Balkans that eventually led to the First World War. Newspaper reporters and others (including assorted spies) flocked to the battlefront from all over Europe. This is the historical context in which we find Fandorin and the Turkish Gambit's cast of characters.
The story centers on a young lady, Vavara Surovova. Like many children of the Russian aristocracy she considered herself progressive, smoked, enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh, and had a great disdain for Tsarist rule.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Erast Fandorin fans 7 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Are you bitten by the Erast Fandorin bug? If so, give this a try. Although 2nd chronologically it was published 3rd in the series and I can see why. It's not in the usual vein of EF adventures and is quite difficult reading (all those complicated Russian names). And being totally ignorant of the Russo-Turkish wars I feel the need for a simple history book to go with it.
It is all part of the subtle web woven by Boris Akunin and any fan will want to read it 'for completeness'. A real fan will want to re-read books 1, 2 and 3 in the correct order (1, 3, 2).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is tricking whom? 30 April 2008
"Gambit", literally "tricking somebody" is usually applied to military operations or chess strategies. In order to achieve the ultimate win some losses have to be accepted along the way. Both contexts fit here beautifully. Boris Akunin, Russian pen name of Georgian writer Grigory Chkhartisvili, has taken an actual episode from the 1877-78 war between the Russian and Ottoman empires to spin yet another successful yarn around young Erast Fandorin, secret agent in the Tsar's Special Division. The author fills a niche market in Russia, as he himself sees it, between the serious literature of the likes of Dostoevsky and Tolstoy and the usual light detective stories of today. For the international reader this new genre of Russian "espionage mystery" - the subtitle of the original - in a specific historical context is a fun read that at the same time provides some insights into the society of the day.

At the end of the previous, first novel in the series, Winter Queen, Erast Fandorin's world was shattered; the repercussions of the drama seem to have resulted in a change of character. Now, he tends to stutter and is introvert and reserved. Has he lost his detective's touch as well? En route to the Russian military command headquarters outside Plevna, in Bulgaria, where a secret mission has sent him, he literally stumbles across Varvara Andreevna Suvorova. A vivacious and "modern" young woman, she is intent on following her fiancé, a volunteer soldier and cryptographer stationed at the same camp. Varvara, Varya for short, takes over as the primary protagonist of the narrative and Akunin exquisitely develops her character and describes her increasingly important position among the expanding entourage of admiring men.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Turkish Gambit
I've been disappointed with this book. The first two Akunin books I read, I couldn't put down and have often re-read them with pleasure. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Margaret Apps
3.0 out of 5 stars A greater focus on Fandorin might have been better
Boris Akunin has set this book in the series about his detective, Erast Petrovich Fandorin, in South-East Europe in the 1870s. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Dr R
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book
So far this book, in the Erast Fandorin adventures, is the most fascinating of all, it is no wonder that in Russia it was made into a film. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Frances Green
4.0 out of 5 stars Fandorin is a Russian Sherlock Holmes
I am gradually getting in the Akunin books having started with the Winter Queen where our hero is young and full of vim and vigour and wants to please his superiors. Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2009 by bookworm
5.0 out of 5 stars Russian Artifice
This is the third adventure of the Russian detective Erast Fandorin, a stuttering, moody youth who has great powers of deduction. Read more
Published on 18 May 2008 by Oliver Redfern
4.0 out of 5 stars Tracking traitors and stalking subversives
She's young, beautiful - and abandoned. Varvara Suvanova, a "modern woman" in late 19th Century Russia, has been deserted by her "guide" in a remote Bulgarian inn. Read more
Published on 17 May 2008 by Stephen A. Haines
1.0 out of 5 stars DREADFUL
Be warned; this goes nowhere very slowly indeed. Our hero Fandorin is reduced to a virtual cardboard cutout and hardly features. Read more
Published on 10 April 2008 by Booko
5.0 out of 5 stars Name's Fandorin, Erast Fandorin!
What can I say, I am an absolute fan of Akunin, and can't wait for each new release. Fandorin series is my favourite however I read all Akunin books I could get my hands on. Read more
Published on 8 Feb 2008 by N. Van Reenen
4.0 out of 5 stars An exciting take on spy thrillers
As with Murder on the Leviathan, I think that Erast's character comes across in a much more entertaining manner when he's viewed from the perspective of another character and here... Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2007 by I Read, Therefore I Blog
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
This is the second Erast Fandorin book that I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed "Murder On The Leviathan" and couldn't wait to pick up "Turkish Gambit". Read more
Published on 30 Jun 2006 by V. J. Rowland
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