Library Ed. Books on Tape 2003
CS ISBN 0736696903 $54.00 Six cassettes
CD ISBN 0736699007 $63.00 Seven CDs
DD ISBN $24.47
When the English translation of Akunin's first "Erast Fandorin" mystery arrived on bookshelves last year, it was touted among the literati of the salon crowd as required reading. Such praise can be great for sales but can also be the kiss of death by raising the bar of expectation unrealistically high. THE WINTER QUEEN, which introduces Fandorin of the Moscow CID, evokes the glamour of Czarist Russia (not to mention Victorian London) of the late 1800s. But the translation is pedantic, interrupted by frequent footnotes, interpretations, and translations of foreign expressions. Michael Kramer's pronunciation is inconsistent, and his reading is as dry as last year's caviar. S.E.S. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine [Published: OCT/ NOV 04]
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