extracurricular reading

out of class reading It so happened that I began my acquaintance with Akunin’s series “Adventures of the Master” with the second book – “Extracurricular Reading”. It was all the more curious then to read the first one, and compare, compare :)The main surprise of the series is the master himself. Nicholas Fandorin is a new, rare type of hero. He is Burdock, Hedgehog in the Fog, Roof in the Clouds, Mister Naivety and the like.Perhaps such characters are not new to world literature, but for me, who was firmly bogged down in the company of Grigory Chkhartishvili’s books, Nika became an unexpected breath of fresh air.

A new type of hero.

I understood very well that the Fandorins are a kind of supermen, an ubermenshe with inexhaustible vitality. The master seems to have all the signs:

  • surname Fandorin
  • outstanding physique (height and response)
  • rare luck
  • extraordinary analytical skills
  • priority of honor and other knightly stuff

Plus, as befits a real hero, a cute little flaw. Such a tiny Achilles heel that makes it closer to us, ordinary people. He’s a FREAK, an overgrown child.A characteristic feature of the Master’s Adventures series are two parallel lines of events: “now” (with Nicholas) and “then” with one of his glorious ancestors. So, in Extracurricular Reading, the parallelism was observed not so much between Nicholas and Danila Fondorin, but between Nikalas and little Mityusha. Both are smart, but not adapted to life. Although…Maybe vice versa? Outward defenselessness and pacifism, combined with sincerity and genuine purity, do not interfere, but help the heroes no less often than endless luck and strong fists.


Extracurricular reading - AkuninI was pretty surprised to learn that “Extracurricular” is one of Akunin’s most voluminous books. I didn’t feel “tight”. On the contrary, smoothly escalating the situation, the author still managed to qualitatively convey a single, but very significant feeling – total hopelessness.No exit. Everyone has betrayed you or is going to betray you or is not going to, but this does not make it easier for you, because the enemies are still stronger. Enemies are not people at all, but some kind of demons – all-powerful, stubborn, self-taught sadists. This is a conspiracy. This is not life, but a nightmare. And you can’t wake up, because people dear to you will be punished for your suicide.Quite logical here turned out to be the “positive” way of telling about the climax. The most tense moment seems to be skipped – the hero is off at this time. And thank God, otherwise he would have died of a broken heart. And only later, after everything has passed, the hero and I will find out exactly how fate saved him this time.

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