Shop now Shop now Shop now See more Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now DIYED Shop now Shop Fire Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I don't think I was meant to be rooting for the Murderer....., 10 Oct. 2007
This review is from: The Death of Achilles (Erast Fandorin 4) (Paperback)
The Fandorin series is marked by being pretty inconsistent in style and this one is no exception. It's almost as if Boris Akunin is "trying out" different styles but for the reader, it makes it a little erratic. The second book was a pure Death on the Nile rip-off, the third had a young woman as the main character, with Fandorin sidelined as an enigmatic figure she's trying to figure out, and this one chops the book abruptly in two, the first part being a murder mystery Fandorin is trying to solve, and the second half being of all things, a biography of the Murderer.

It starts out promisingly - a famous figure is murdered and there's a cover-up. But then the old Akunin problems show up. Too much plot and sub-plot so that the reader becomes confused, too many characters with similar names and titles, and actually too many characters full stop. At times it seems that everyone Fandorin meets is allowed a scene, down to the most irrelevant people. Do we really need two scenes with the deceaseds weeping sister? Maybe Akunin has now become too famous to be edited.

Just when your brain is starting to hurt though, it abruptly stops and you're thrown into the biograpy of the Murderer. Then things start to look up. We see his terrible childhood, see his first murders, hear his internal monologue throughout. He's not a monster, he's just amoral. And has a sense of mercy, in his own efficient way. He eventually, tentatively, starts to form hopes and dreams unconnected with his grisly past, and maybe he's even capable of love.... I was gripped by his character and his story, and as it uncovered the events of the Murder we've already seen - but from his side - I couldn't put the book down. Akunin's obviously enjoying fleshing out someone different so completely and he's certainly his best character creation yet. Eventually of course, there has to be a showdown.

And therein lies one of the main problems. Surely you shouldn't be rooting for the Anti-Hero? But then he's such a sexy character, Fandorin is not. Our Hero has come back from Japan more Japanese than Russian, but it just serves to make him even odder. He's covered in shooting stars and nunchucks and takes ice-cold baths. He claps his hands sharply eight times to aid concentration, even in public. You have a sneaking suspicion that at something like 28 years old, he's a virgin. There's nothing wrong with his personality, really. He's moderately pleasant if socially a bit inept, incredibly clever and capable of friendship, but he's starting to buckle under the weight of "characteristics" (read: tics and eccentricities) that Akunin keeps adding on. He's becoming a bit of a cartoon. And he didn't really gain my sympathy. Even when he's in high emotion (for him, that means blushing), he seems as cold as a fish.

I will continue with the rest of the series - I've invested in it now, and they are intelligent reading. I can't resist a whole series of clever books just waiting to be read. I don't think they'll be better edited, unfortunately. And God knows what format each will take. But I can put up with that. I'm just praying he makes Fandorin more man, less idea.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]


Review Details