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The Russian Interpreter

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  144 ratings  ·  18 reviews
When a mercurial Moscow blonde and a visiting British businessman conduct an affair through their Russian interpreter it reveals all the deceptions of love and East-West relations.
Paperback, 191 pages
Published May 1st 2005 by Faber and Faber (first published October 10th 1966)
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Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: modern-lit, read-2019
This is Frayn's second novel, and my copy was an impulse buy in a second hand bookshop which I picked up almost on a whim, having enjoyed Spies a couple of years ago.

This book is an interesting mixture of styles - part Englishman abroad farce, part spy thriller. The main character Manning (the book is written from his perspective by an omniscient third person) is in Moscow "working" on a PhD thesis under the benevolent eye of his tutor Sasha. At the start of the book he hears from various acquai
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
از متن کتاب :
سرانجام پرسید: "پس شاید خوب بودن رایا شبیه خوب بودن ساشاست؟"
منینگ فریاد کشید: "کاتیا! تو وسواس خوب بودن گرفتی!"
"نه، نه. من در مورد خدا وسواس دارم که خوب بودن از او ساطع میشه. وقتی می‌پرسم آیا رایا دختر خوبیه منظورم اینه که آیا وجودش مملو از خداونده یا نه. همانطور که وجود ساشا مملو از خداونده."
"وجود ساشا مملو از خداونده؟ چطور همچین چیزی ممکنه؟ اون یه آدم بی اعتقاده."
"اینکه ساشا چه نظری راجع به خودش داره خیلی مهم نیست."
"ولی کاتیا، من اصلا نمیفهمم! به نظر تو ساشا به قدرت وصله. بعد از ا
Feb 09, 2011 rated it liked it
"Know the truth, even if it goes with you in silence to the grave." - These words are poignant in Frayn's story of espionage. The Russian Interpreter began guilelessly as a little romance between an English businessman (Gordon Proctor-Gould) and his new found Russian love interest (Raya). Paul Manning, an English student writing his thesis at Moscow University, was unwittingly drawn into an assignment larger and more bewildering than his ostensible role as a Russian interpreter for Proctor-Gould ...more
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مترجم روسی..
خوب بود، بعضی جاهاش رو خیلی دوست داشتم.
نویسنده را توانا و سیر کلی داستان‌ رو جذاب یافتم.
بخوام خلاصه بگم: ادبیات کار بالاتر از انتظاری بود که داشتم، و جذابيت قصه، پایین تر از انتظارم.

تم ترجمه و زبان و مسائل و مبادلات زبانی همیشه برام خیلی جذاب بوده، و بسیار دوست داشتم روی این جنبه کار بیش تر تاکید میشد.
در مجموع، کار خوب و بسیار خوشخوانی بود. نمره واقعی من به کتاب سه و نیمه.
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
A little different but I kinda liked it. 2 1/2 stars

I'd never heard of Michael Frayn prior to this book. I happened to run into this book on my local discount bookstore and was intrigued by the title and the book cover. I thought The Russian Interpreter was an independent movie I may have seen. It's not but after reading this book it is most definitely a worthy candidate. This is a short book with excellent writing and I was shocked to see no quotes or much talk about it. Having finished the
May 08, 2018 rated it liked it
ساشا خصوصیات شخصیتی ما در جایگاه قدرت نیستن. منظورم احترام به صرف شخصیت فرد، بدون در نظر گرفتن کارایی اون فرده. هدف ما اینه.
ساشا چند بار سریع پلک زد.
سپس گفت:برعکس، فکر می کنم این رو یه بار به پاول گفتم، انسان باید احساس کنه وجودش مورد نیازه. شک ندارم قبول داری اینکه به کسی احساس نیاز داشته باشی بالاترین حد احترامیه که می تونی برای اون فرد قائل باشی؟
ساشا،اینکه بهش نیاز داشته باشی؟ نیاز داشته باشی تا برای منظور خاصی ازش استفاده کنی؟ فقط به خاطر سهمی که اون آدم می تونه تو کاری داشته باشه؟
Dec 18, 2008 rated it liked it
The Russian Interpreter is the story of a British academic based at Moscow University who becomes embroiled in an piece of minor espionage through no fault of his own. It’s funny, quirky and entertaining. Unlike most spy stories the focus is on character rather than plot but then Michael Frayn is not a writer of genre fiction but a literary novelist. There’s a lot of of playing with ideas which is rather characteristic of Frayn, and an emphasis on the aburdity of both the public and private post ...more
Aug 29, 2015 rated it liked it

The Russian Interpreter is a story about Raya, a beautiful but unmanageable Moscow blonde who speaks no English, and the affair she embarks upon with a dubious British businessman named Gordon Proctor-Gould. Although Proctor-Gould claims their passionate love transcends the confines of the language barrier, they nonetheless find themselves reliant on Paul Manning, a student of the University of Moscow who finds himself unwittingly roped into a lukewarm-Cold War spy saga. Manning, tortured by the
Parvaneh Hosseinzadeh
دانشجوی سابق دانشگاه کمبریج که برای ادامه تحصیل به شوروی کمونیستی رفته؛ درگیر روابطی متناقض می‌شه. از طرفی، یکی از هم‌وطنان انگلیسی او، نیاز به مترجم پیدا می‌کنه و این همکاری حوادثی رو در پی داره. . .

مترجم روسی، نمونه‌ای کامل از زندگی در جوامع کمونیستیه. جامعه‌ای که مردم طبقه کارگر در هر صورت بازنده هستند ولی تمام تلاششون رو می‌کنن تا برای مقامات بالاتر خودنمایی کنند. تحصیل‌کرده‌هایی که از هر چیزی، حتی از قوطی نسکافه، احساس خطر می‌کنند و از اخراج دیگر دانشگاهیان لبخند رضایت می‌زنند. . .

مترجم روس
Valancourt Books
Now available in the US:

Amazon US
Amazon US
Robin Hall
Jun 02, 2017 rated it liked it
I want to give this three and a half stars. It's Frayn so it's beautifully written, and lots of what happens is fascinating. But I didn't find it funny (perhaps you have to be in the right mood) and at the end I was left thinking 'what the heck was that all about', which can sometimes be a good thing but in this case was just annoying. I wanted to understand more of what had happened, and I felt a bit cheated. ...more
Robert Anderson
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very funny. Even funnier if you have experienced the idiosyncrasies of Soviet era Moscow.
Mike Pinter
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not quite the story you might have expected. A quick and pleasant read.
Jun 06, 2019 rated it liked it
The story has somewhat dated (first published in 1966) but it is clever, well-written and amusing.
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Like many of you, I discovered Michael Frayn through his hilarious play Noises Off - arguably the funniest play of the 20th century. It wasn't until a few years ago, however, that I wondered if he'd written anything else. A treasure trove of humorous novels soon appeared after a Google search, and I have been happily making my way through them to this day. The Russian Interpreter is one of my favourites.

This is his second novel, and the leap between it and his first is enormous, in my opinion. T
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in June 2001.

Frayn's second novel is more interesting than his first, The Tin Men, and shows the influence of Evelyn Waugh (in, say, Scoop) rather than J.B. Priestley. Paul Manning takes on part time Russian-English interpreting while working in Moscow to complete his Ph.D. thesis. He then meets the gorgeous Raya, and begins an affair, but makes the mistake of introducing him to his employer, English businessman Gordon Proctor-Gould. Raya and Gordon begin an
Feb 28, 2010 rated it liked it
The most interesting part of this story is the love that is carried through an interpreter, who himself seems to be in love. It makes for odd reading.

The girl character comes off as a make-believe character; the conversation between the two men are entertaining.

There is also a spy angle to this story set in Communist Russia, I enjoyed the claustrophobic air of it. That said, some of the atmospherics seem a bit contrived.

The wheels within wheels, mirror reflecting mirror kind of storyline is cle
Joe Hanna
Apr 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shed- loads better than Spies. That is all.
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Feb 04, 2015
Steve Terry
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Mar 28, 2018
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Jul 07, 2018
Queena Lee
rated it it was ok
Feb 05, 2015
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Dec 09, 2008
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Oct 01, 2019
Terry O'Connor
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Dec 19, 2013
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Michael Frayn is an English playwright and novelist. He is best known as the author of the farce Noises Off and the dramas Copenhagen and Democracy. His novels, such as Towards the End of the Morning, Headlong and Spies, have also been critical and commercial successes, making him one of the handful of writers in the English language to succeed in both drama and prose fiction. His works often rais ...more

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