Max Frei's novels have been a literary sensation in Russia since their debut in 1996, and have swept the fantasy world over. Presented here in English for the first time, The Stranger will strike a chord with readers of all stripes. Part fanta
Max Frei was a typical good-for-nothing loser; his achievement was being good absolutely for nothing. Suddenly he ended up in a magical land and it turns out he is the most useful guy around: everything he did was great, everybody loved him, and his boss made him compliments non-stop. He was working in Department of Absolute Order - secret service of the said magic land; James Bond and Sherlock Holmes put together had nothing on him.
The book consists of several interconnected novellas ...more
Once you get accustomed to the writer's quaint manner of writing you will love it too. The first thing that meets the eye is the unique style of narration and the unusual choice of words. It's not casual, but not as pompous and epic as traditional fantasy. It's rather self-ironic and even sarcas ...more
Each ch ...more
It's is just best story that ever read, ever!! I read the first book when I was about 12 year old and still no book or books series can out rival Max...The author is amazing, and most of all.. She lives in my country's capital city!!! Omg...
So, If you are still just considering reading this book, don't. DO IT. It is complete wonder. But the only problem is, there is only one book translated now, but all boo ...more
One such place he visits regularly is a strange city where the streets are pav ...more
"Max Frei" - ie Svetlana Martynchik - has published this mammoth series Labyrinths of Echo of which The Stranger is the opening - I think it's 10 volumes so far - to great acclaim and success in Russia and Europe from the mid 90's on, so I was very curious about this book.
Overall I was disappointed because the book just did not engage me; it's not bad but I've read too many similar but better books to waste too much time on it.
I could not care less about its main character or the rest of the ...more
There is only one little criticism... Frei should never be read when hungry or full, because no matter what, it makes you crave food with its mouthwashing descriptions of Chakata pie and other magical foods. The best condition for this bo ...more
First off: no, I ...more
But take my word for it, Max Frei is really good writer, but his books are very hard to translate .. ...more
The premise of this book was so promising - indeed, I discovered it in the Russian section of Idlewild Books in Manhattan this summer, and later ordered a used copy on amazon. Looking back on the back cover ...more
I really hated the way it was written, but I think that might be the fault of the translator.
The story itself was actually kind of charming, in a Gilbert and Sullivan Meet Sam Spade in Oz kind of way.
I just can't get into the writing style of this book, so much so that I dread picking it up to read every time I look at it. I wanted to love this one, it sounds AMAZING (and with the GR rating over 4 stars, it probably is), I just don't think this relationship is going to work.
I liked it a lot.
Others have compared it to Harry Potter but I think that's off the mark. More like a combination of Jack Vance and Steven Brust.
Some have said it's a series of pointless episodes; I disagree. I kept catching little hints about what's really going on here and how it relates to our hero's home world. I may be wrong here, because if there really are ten volumes in this series it shouldn't take t ...more
This book ...more
The great thing about this book is that it submerges you in an emotional state of comfortable uncertainty – you don't know what to expect but you know it's going to be pleasant and magical.
I tried preparing for a tabletop role-playing game in the universe of this book, but it seems incredibly difficult, the ...more
But at the same time, I'm getting tired of "chosen one" thingy. Main character has too much power (even though he barely controls it) and get everything way too easy which stops a character development. I just truly wish they would make it a little more deep in ...more
If you’re looking for a complex plot full of action and conflicts, this is not the book for you. I can only describe this book as cosy, a read that you really look forward to come back to after a day of hard work and worries IRL to be swept away into the fascinating and welcoming world of Echo.
Max is a young man in his twenties suffering from mild depression who cannot find a suitable place for himself in our world on Earth and has troubles accepting the mundane routine of ...more
"Max Frei" is a pen-name of Svetlana Martynchik. She has created the well-known Echo series. Svetlana Yuryevna Martynchik is a Russian writer and artist.
Martynchik studied at the philological department of Odessa State University, but dropped out without graduating. Martynchik lived in Moscow since 1993 and lives in Vilnius since 2004.
For more details see Wikipedia: Svetlana M...more