Boris Akunin - Fandorin/Pelagia

Anybody out there who has read Boris Akunin’s books about Fandorin or his new series about the nun Pelagia? I can strongly recommend them. Humorous, crazy plots, he plays with form (changes the text from horizontal to vertical!). I’m not sure how well known these books are outside Russia but the five first of Akunin’s eleven (?) books about Fandorin have been translated to swedish (also translated to english) and I recently found the first two books about Sister Pelagia, his new character, in english as well. And if Paul Verhoven complete his film “The Winter Queen”, the first story about Fandorin, I’m sure Akunin will be just as famous outside Russia. Don’t miss.

I’m half-way through ‘The Winter Queen’ at the moment, and it seems to be shaping up quite nicely. Although the opening wasn’t quite what I was expecting (perhaps a little too attention-grabbing for my pedestrian taste), I’m enjoying the book now, and am particularly tickled by the idea of the protagonist’s ‘Lord Byron’ corset.

I love the part about “There is a genius inventor, mister Bell, and thanks to him you are now ble to hold conversation over great distances …” "In whole of Europe there are for now only two lines … " (My own translation from swedish)

Yep, I used to read a lot of Akunin in Russian, since it’s my native tongue. I like most of his books, some of them are quite memorable.

He cleverly plays with genre and style, and in one book he compares himself to Jack the Ripper, because of what he does to different genres.

I find him interesting also as he’s under a strong influence of my other favorite writer, Mishima. Akunin began as a translator from Japanese into Russian, doing Mishima’s books among others. The very name, Aku-nin, means “devil” in Japanese…

I don’t know how his books come in translation. But in Russian he’s very good.

I think his books are well translated. Of course I can’t read russian so I really wouldn’t know if it’s actually a good or poor translation. But the five (actually six) first books have been translated to swedish and by different translators and they are all very nice. I’ve also read the first Pelagia book in english and I will have to continue reading his books in english from now on because the swedish publisher are not buying the rights to his other books. A shame really.

Magnus