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The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin 1) Paperback – 18 Mar 2010

3.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: W&N; New Ed edition (18 Mar. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753817594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753817599
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

A masterful tongue-in-cheek mixture of crime and historical fiction (Ash Tarhuni, Bookseller WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY)

Book Description

'An absolute delight. Think Tolstoy writing James Bond with the logical rigour of Sherlock Holmes. A hoot' Guardian

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was extremely pleased to discover the work of Georgian author Boris Akunin, since I have always been a fan of Russian literature and getting to experience a novel dealing with mystery / espionage from that origin was a real treat. If I had to define the writing style of Akunin, I would say that he creates characters that show the characteristic inner turmoil present in the work of several Russian authors, like Dostoyevsky, and uses storylines that can be mirrored with a mixture of John LeCarre and Arthur Conan Doyle.
This is the first installment of a series of eleven books (up to this date) featuring the Moscow detective Erast Fandorin, and was originally published under the title "Azazel". Our hero lives in the nineteenth century, and has been unlucky in life, since his family's fortune was lost quickly and completely, leaving him in a precarious condition and working as a catalyst for his decision of joining the police force. He is getting to know the ropes around the department when he is assigned to the case of a man that committed suicide in a park. It is supposed to be an open and shut case, but Fandorin's zeal and eagerness for knowing more about the poor individual leads him to discover a complicated web of lies and deceit, which at its center holds and international conspiracy.
I enjoyed how the author describes the thoughts of our main character, since this gives the story a depth that goes beyond the mystery at hand, and creates a bond with the reader that keeps us interested in the series. Besides Fandorin, there is an eclectic set of characters that provide the story with interesting dialogues and variety of personalities.
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Format: Paperback
Boris Akunin is the pen name of Georgian writer, Grigory Chkhartishvili - a translator of Japanese, Akunin means 'bad guy' in that language and plays on the name of the 19th century Russian revolutionary, Bakunin.
Akunin is one of the leading lights in a new wave of writers emerging from the former Soviet Union. Crime fiction had been proscribed under the Communists - it was bourgeois and crime was not supposed to be happening. With the collapse of the regime, however, it quickly became the most popular form of literature, with pulp presses churning out a supply to meet the demand.
Hence the rapidity with which "Winter Queen" was produced. Published as "Azazel" in Russia in 1998, "The Winter Queen" represents the first of a dozen and more titles by Akunin featuring his indestructible hero, Erast Fandorin. Written in just six weeks, it became a major best-seller in Russia and rapidly attracted Western attention - film rights have been sold.
Not that it, in any way, appears hurried, sloppy, or amateurish in construction. Akunin's hero is a young man, newly enlisted in the police force of the 1870's. This is a world with no forensic science, a rigid social structure and rigid proprieties, and police investigation techniques which respect the intuition of the intelligent amateur or newcomer. Fandorin is inexperienced, naive, downwardly mobile (the family fortune having evaporated), but cultured, intelligent, diligent, and desperately enthusiastic. He doesn't so much want to impress as want to succeed ... by a process of blind self-confidence and a youthful self-delusion that he is acting logically and scientifically.
Fandorin is invited to investigate the suicide of a rich student. The young man has blown his brains out in public. How can this be suicide?
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Format: Paperback
I was extremely pleased to discover the work of Georgian author Boris Akunin, since I have always been a fan of Russian literature and getting to experience a novel dealing with mystery / espionage from that origin was a real treat. If I had to define the writing style of Akunin, I would say that he creates characters that show the characteristic inner turmoil present in the work of several Russian authors, like Dostoyevsky, and uses storylines that can be mirrored with a mixture of John LeCarre and Arthur Conan Doyle.
This is the first installment of a series of eleven books (up to this date) featuring the Moscow detective Erast Fandorin, and was originally published under the title "Azazel". Our hero lives in the nineteenth century, and has been unlucky in life, since his family's fortune was lost quickly and completely, leaving him in a precarious condition and working as a catalyst for his decision of joining the police force. He is getting to know the ropes around the department when he is assigned to the case of a man that committed suicide in a park. It is supposed to be an open and shut case, but Fandorin's zeal and eagerness for knowing more about the poor individual leads him to discover a complicated web of lies and deceit, which at its center holds and international conspiracy.
I enjoyed how the author describes the thoughts of our main character, since this gives the story a depth that goes beyond the mystery at hand, and creates a bond with the reader that keeps us interested in the series. Besides Fandorin, there is an eclectic set of characters that provide the story with interesting dialogues and variety of personalities.
Read more ›
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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