Friday, July 17, 2009

Max Frei's THE STRANGER in the California Literary Review

Ed Voves of the California Literary Review takes a look at The Stranger by Max Frei: "Imagine that you are meeting a person for the first time in a distant land. Deferring to local custom, you hold a hand over your eyes and say in greeting, “I see you as though in a waking dream.” If this arcane ritual strikes a familiar note with you, then there are two possibilities. You are either a resident of the mysterious realm of Echo or you have read Max Frei’s fantasy novel, The Stranger. The second scenario is the more likely. The Stranger is a translation of the first of a wildly popular series of novels from Russia. By turns serious and screwball, it combines sly, sometimes campy, humor with a yearning for personal insight and a good day’s sleep. The Stranger is an episodic quest set in a parallel universe, in which a Sherlock Holmes-Dr. Watson duo combat malign magicians and search for the perfect restaurant. . . . The Stranger is a hugely enjoyable mix of madcap mirth and fantastical adventure. Hold a hand over your eyes and say magic words and perhaps you too will glimpse the wondrous realm of Echo “as though in a waking dream.”

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