The Russian Interpreter is a story about Raya, a mercurial Moscow blonde who speaks no English, and the affair she is embarking upon with Gordon Proctor-Gould, a visiting British businessman who speaks no Russian.
They need an interpreter; which is how Paul Manning is diverted from writing his thesis at Moscow University to become involved in all the deceptions of love and East-West relations. After the death of Stalin in 1952, the Soviet Union opened its doors to the rest of the world and Michael Frayn was one of the first foreign students to enter the country.
Drawing on his experience at Moscow University in the late 1950s, Frayn brilliantly captures a country still recovering from the Second World War, racked with suspicion and intrigue, at once harsh and easy-going, lethargic and labour-intensive.
‘Imaginative and delightful – zany characters who stick in the memory and have a genuine life of their own. Frayn juxtaposes the humorous and the frankly sinister into a satisfying and witty picture.’ Sunday Telegraph
An Eye for Absurdity
Village fêtes are dangerous places to buy books. The conviction that somewhere among the ancient almanacs and dog-eared Jilly Coopers lurks an underpriced treasure is so strong that I find it hard...Read more