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Turkish Gambit (Erast Fandorin Mysteries #2)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  5,588 Ratings  ·  233 Reviews
Russian author Boris Akunin clearly delights in literary experimentation. The Winter Queen, his first novel to win U.S. release, was a police procedural, introducing a young but brilliant detective named Erast Petrovich Fandorin, serving in 1876 Moscow. However, Murder on the Leviathan (actually the third entry in the Fandorin series, but published second in the States) wa ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published January 7th 2005 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (first published 1998)
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Saba You don't necessarily need to read the first books to understand this one. This books is not a direct continuation of the first one.
There are,…more
You don't necessarily need to read the first books to understand this one. This books is not a direct continuation of the first one.
There are, however, ties between the books. Two characters from the first book will reappear and both will mention stuff that happened in the first book. A thrid character will be mentioned quite cryptically. You won't understand this books any less but a detail or two may leave you a bit puzzled. (Like: Who is x? Why are z and y friends?) (less)
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Joyce Lagow
Apr 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
2nd in the Erast Fandorin series.[return][return]Set during the Russo-Turkish War, this installment features not so much Fandorin himself, but a modern (1877 style) liberated Russian woman, 22 year old Varvara Andreevna Suvorova, an emancipated Muscovite (kissing a woman s hands is so 18th century), who is following the Russian army to Bulgaria in order to be reunited with her grass husband, Pyotr. A guide leaves her stranded at an inn, stealing her horse and her money, an emancipated damsel in ...more
Oct 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Dalla Russia con amore.

Si può civettare in un accampamento militare?
Si può fare spionaggio col sorriso?
Si può investigare balbettando?
Si può far capitolare un giovane vecchio?

Se esiste un modo per vedere una guerra con occhi naif, questo libro spiega come.
תענוג לחזור לסדרה הזו לאחר הפסקה בת 8 שנים... ספר מרתק שנשען על אירועים היסטוריים, הקריאה שוטפת ובכלל זה עשה לי חשק להמשיך לחלק השלישי...
Assaph Mehr
Fandorin finds himself on the front lines of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877 in the Balkans (at the siege of Plevna). This is a war story, as Fandorin unravels a spy-vs-spy style of behind-the-lines intrigue and espionage.

What to Expect

Each novel is written as a different type of mystery. Akunin set out to rectify the low-brow reputation of the mystery genre in post-USSR Russia by writing worthy literature and exploring the wide gamut of sub-genres. Each novel is therefore excellently written as a
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, russia, war, turkey
I enjoyed listening to this as I drove to and from work. However, toward the beginning I had trouble remembering who was who among the more secondary characters and found myself wishing I could flip back to earlier pages to remind myself. There were also a few times that I thought something was so beautifully written (or translated) that I wanted to stew over it for a bit. I think I'll eventually end up buying this in actual book form, so I can do just that.
So far I've enjoyed Akunin's Fandorin
May 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good read. I loved it! It helps if you have read some Turgenev or Lermontov's "Hero..." but you would enjoy even if you hadn't. Interesting narrative in that the "hero" Fandorin is never given a voice and we are never taken into his confidence. This works really well as his detachment remains absolute and in keeping with the Byronic type although there is a warmth about him which does make him
appealing.I loved the humour and the characters were wonderful, in particular Zurov.I will defin
Andrew Orange
May 07, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The author is a schizophrenic. His books are the combination of liberal ideas with Russian imperialism and the cult of death. This is typical for most Russian intellectuals, but the rest of the readers don't understand it. B. Akunin is too liberal for some readers, and too repulsive (too Russian) for others. The double-headed eagle is the right crest of Russia. Yep.
Richard Derus
Jan 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book Report: Erast Petrovich Fandorin, titular counsellor of the Tsar's Special Branch (secret police, ugh), finds himself in the thick of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878. In a manner very like that of a skinny, stammering love-child of James Bond and Nero Wolfe, Fandorin arranges things so that the party responsible for the sudden and inglorious halt of victorious Russian armies to Constantinople, long the most urgent desire of Imperial Russian froeign policy, comes inevitably to light. ...more
Mar 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the third according to the publisher of Boris Akunin's Erast Fandorin Russian detective stories, however I think they must have them out of sequence as he departs on the trip covered in the second novel at the end of this story.

Akunin is quite interesting in that he looks at the narrative in each of these books in a different way, in this case we follow Varvara Suvorova as she journeys to the front line in the Russo-Turkish war of the 1870s to be with her cryptographer boyfriend. On the
Not being well-versed in Russian history (which may actually help), this story based on the siege of Pleven during the Russo-Turkish war (well, one of the many) didn't have the appeal that the next book in the series did. There wasn't enough Fandolin (which is a shame because he is such fun), just the whole story from the point of view of Varvara, a "modern" woman who has romantically run off to join her fiance, a cryptographer. Varya is annoying in her fickleness, which she cops to at the very ...more
Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
I had quite high hopes for Turkish Gambit and had looked forward to a swashbuckling historical tale. Unfortunately I found the book rather dull. There are lots of lengthy conversations, but little in the way of descriptive writing about the country and period. I found it difficult to keep track of who everyone was too. Our heroine Varvara is well defined, but sleuth Erast Fandorin mostly kept himself to himself and it wasn't until the latter stages of the book that I thought the many other men i ...more
Feb 26, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have to be honest, this is the first Fandorin book that I've read, but not the first in the series (obviously). I saw it in a second-hand bookstore and thought it looked interesting.

Unfortunately, not so much.

The setting is interesting. I got the book because I enjoy reading historical novels set during times I didn't learn much about in school. So I can give it that! And while a little expected, I did like when everything started becoming a real pop-mystery novel.


Varya is a caricature o
Diana Vassileva-ditsy
Привлича с това, че действието се развива изцяло на българска земя. Освен това го има и историческия елемент - поставих си за задача да търся исторически несъответствия, но такива не открих. Акунин е изпипал всичко, до последния детайл, което си е впечатляващо.

Проблемът с тази повест е следния: действието се развива от гледна точка на жена. Което означава неизбежен анализ на всякакви чувства, емоции и женски позиции. Когато тези неща са представени от гледната точка на мъж е някак...мило. Липсва
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"I am opposed to democracy in general. One man is unequal to another from the very beginning, and there is nothing you can do about it. The democratic principle infringes the rights of those who are more intelligent, more talented, and harder working; it places them in a position of dependence of the foolish will of the stupid, talentless, and lazy, because society always contains more of the later. Let our compatriots first learn to rid themselves of their swinish ways and earn the right to bea ...more
Racheli Zusiman
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: russian
למרות שניחשתי את הטוויסט בעלילה עוד בהתחלה, זהו ספר מהנה ביותר. הבחירה לספר את סיפור המעשה דרך עיניה של בחורה צעירה עושה את כל ההבדל וגורמת לו להיות פשוט מעולה.
Ik heb dit boek opzij gelegd omdat het te beschrijvend en saai was om verder te willen lezen. Ik had meer spanning verwacht, maar die was nagenoeg afwezig.
Friederike Knabe
Nov 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ce-europe
"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 a ...more
Gia Jgarkava
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
აკუნინის 2 წიგნი ერთდროულად ჩამივარდა ხელში: ეს და Любовница смерти. წიგნებს ეწერა რიგითობაც (#2 და #8) და ცხადი იყო, რომ თურქული გამბიტით უნდა დამეწყო, მაგრამ იყო ერთი ნიუანსი, რის გამოც მეორეთი დავიწყე - ადრე ნანახი მაქვს აკუნინის რომელიღაც წიგნის ეკრანიზაცია, რომელშიც ბევრი კი არაფერი მახსოვს, მაგრამ "ნა ზლო" რაც მახსოვს არის მთავარი რაზვიაზკა. შესაბამისად, ნუ გასაგებია. Любовница смерти-ს წაკითხვის შემდეგ, ვიფიქრე რომ ეს რადგან ისეთი კარგი ვერაა, იქნება ის იყოს კარგი-თქო, გავრისკე და როგორც ...more
Perry Whitford
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Enjoyable yet strangely tensionless espionage mystery featuring 19th century Russian super-sleuth Erast Fandorin, set during the Russio-Turkish war.

Somehow, the defending Turkish forces seem to know exactly what the advancing Cossacks are up to, leading to a protracted and bloody siege at the city of Plevna, thwarting the progress of the superior Russian army hoping to make it all the way to Constantinople - an eventuailty against the wishes of the majority of European nations.

Akunin has achie
During the war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in 1877, Boris Akunin's eccentric and brilliant detective, Erast Fandorin, finds himself yet again at the center of the action. While attempting to return home to Russia after being a prisoner of the Turks, he rescues a rash young Russian woman trying to join her true love stationed at the Front. Since the woman has been robbed and needs transportation, he joins a poker game where wagers this damsel in distress against a donkey. Fortunately fo ...more
Rafal Jasinski
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Akunin, po raz kolejny, nie zawodzi! "Gambit turecki" ma wszystkie cechy, które tak sobie chwaliłem w pierwszej powieści z cyklu o Fandorinie, "Azazelu". Ponownie więc świetna narracja, utrzymana w stylu retro-kryminału, jest idealnie kontrapunktowana przez całkiem nowocześnie prowadzoną fabułę - masa tu naprawdę zaskakujących zwrotów akcji, niespodziewanych "zejść" bohaterów i mylenia tropów. Intryga, co prawda nieco mniej skomplikowana, ale za to dużo bardziej prawdopodobna a do tego akcja osa ...more
Kimmo Sinivuori
This is the second book in the Erast Fandorin series of historical detective novels. I really liked the first one The Winter Queen but this one fails to impress. Although this is a very well written story, it doesn't spark and has the feel of the difficult second novel. The setting is excellent, the Russo-Turkish war, and the period is well evoked and there are some nicely sketched characters. While The Winter Queen was a detective story in the Conan Doyle style, this one owns more to George Mac ...more
Emin Kiraz
A spy-story taking place during the Turkish-Russian War of 1877-78. The story is far from being well-established, but still has enough surprises at the end :)) Interesting to read historical events, in this story the famous battle at Plevne, in a fictitious framework. We might have not known the geniune causes and maybe we'll never learn. Comments and observations made by the characters are also interesting and usually in compatible with those in history books.
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
לקח לי המון זמן לזכור את כל השמות המסובכים של דמויות המשנה ולזכור מה תפקידו של כל אחד מהם.
גם פחות אהבתי את הבחירה לספר את הסיפור דרך עיניה של ווריה ולא דרך עיניו של פנדורין. אבל עדיין הספר הוא מרתק.
Igor Tsinman
Jun 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Достойный автор!!!
Blaine DeSantis
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book 2 of the Erast Fandorin series and it is quite different from the first, and as a matter of fact Erast barely appears in this book, but eventually comes to the rescue of the Russian army at the Siege of Plevna (historically accurate event) as well as when exposing the spy who was leaking secrets to the Turkish Army. The entire book is built around the Russian effort to recapture and free those good Christians who lived in Bulgaria, and was part of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78. The book ...more
Fariba Arjmand
Jan 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not like the book. I don't know why the author introduced a character like varia. she was more an object to be liked by men, a mere decorative thing, than a person, and her contribution to "the cause" was negligible. She was more a cliche than a character.
even the hero, Erast Fandorin was not as brilliant as he was in Winter Queen.
Nina Ivanova
Sep 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Full review (including movie and spoilers alert)/Цялото ревю (плюс филм и спойлери) - click, click


С удоволствие се потопих в стила на Акунин. Той пише много леко, достъпно и увлекателно - поне в тези му книги. Скоро ми стана ясно, че това няма да ми стане любимата негова книга, но и също така, че ще е приятна за четене и много по-добра от историите за Пелагия или за Магистъра. Тук се плетат и нищят политически интриги, което не ми е любимата част при кримки и трилъри - аз предпочита
Melissa McShane
I'm really starting to love this series. In a departure from The Winter Queen, in this book the POV character is a woman named Varya who has traveled across Europe to the Turkish front to find her fiance. Abandoned by her guide, she's rescued by Erast Fandorin and then appointed to be his assistant (Fandorin manipulates this as a favor to her, since she would otherwise be shipped back to Russia). Fandorin is there because an old enemy seems to have surfaced as advisor to the Sultan, but his brie ...more
Nancy Oakes
really, a 3.5 stars rating

Just in case you're interested, this may be the 3rd book in the series in order of release in the United States, but it follows shortly after The Winter Queen in chronology.

I do recommend it, but probably only if you've at least read The Winter Queen and enjoy the character of Ernst Fandorin. This book is not quite as good as Winter Queen or Murder on the Leviathan, so you may not enjoy it as much.

The story is set in 1877, while Russia is doing battle with the Ottoman
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Real name - Grigory Shalvovich Chkhartishvili (Russian: Борис Акунин; Georgian: გრიგოლ შალვას ძე ჩხარტიშვილი; Аlso see Grigory Chkhartishvili), born in Tbilisi, Georgia, in 1956. Since 1958 he lives in Moscow. Writer and translator from Japanease. Author of crime stories set in tsarist Russia. In 1998 he made his debut with novel Azazel (to English readers known as The Winter Queen), where he cre ...more
More about Boris Akunin

Other books in the series

Erast Fandorin Mysteries (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • The Winter Queen (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #1)
  • Murder on the Leviathan (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #3)
  • The Death of Achilles (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #4)
  • Special Assignments (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #5)
  • Статский советник (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #6)
  • Коронация, или Последний из романов (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #7)
  • Любовница смерти (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #8)
  • Любовник смерти (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #9)
  • Алмазная колесница (Erast Fandorin Mysteries, #10)
  • Алмазная колесница . Том 1 (Приключения Эраста Фандорина #10)

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“The double-headed eagle that serves the Russian Empire as its crest illustrates quite magnificently the entire system of government of that country, where any matter of even the slightest importance is not entrusted to a single authority but at least two,” 1 likes
“Have you ever heard of the law of large numbers? If you carry on betting large sums day after day, then sooner or later you are bound to win everything back.” As far” 0 likes
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