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Gorky Park: A Novel Paperback – Mar 13 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (March 13 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812977246
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812977240
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #153,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Publisher

10 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Martin Cruz Smith is the bestselling author of the Arkady Renko thrillers Gorky Park, Polar Star, Red Square, Havana Bay and Wolves Eat Dogs, as well as a number of other novels. He lives in California with his wife and three children. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I guess I wasn't very old when it came out, but somebody should have thrust Gorky Park into my hands right after I finished Green Eggs and Ham.

It's one of those astonishing revelation novels. I've read plenty of detective/spy/thriller/whodunit novels, and the only authors who thoroughly impressed me were P. D. James, John le Carré and Robert Goddard. There are a whole raft of second tier writers out there, among them Steig Larsson, Jo Nesbo and a pile of others, and they're great, but my top three were my top three. And now they're four, as Martin Cruz Smith has joined them.

Halfway through Gorky Park, I began to scrabble around for information about Smith, so amazing was his depiction of Russian life, style and attitudes. Was he an old Russia hand? Did he live there? Did he speak the language? And the answers were no, no and no. In fact, he barely speaks ten words of Russian (by his own admission), he's never lived there, and until recently, he wasn't particularly welcome. The whole thing came out of research and imagination. Absolutely amazing! So my next question, obviously: did he get it all right? Was his research accurate? And the answer is: mostly, but certainly not entirely. There are errors, according to those who know better than I do. But the errors in detail in no way hamper the themes, the characters and the all-important gut-level lived-it feel.

In a 2010 article, Mark Teeter, a teacher of English and Russian-American relations in Moscow, wrote about Smith's work in the Moscow News, stating that exact detail wasn't entirely necessary to a good novel. Russians and Americans, he pointed out, have been mischaracterizing each other's homes for decades without missing the big picture. He points out that "Vladimir Mayakovsky ...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Martin Cruz Smith is a former journalist and magazine editor. "Gorky Park" is his first novel to feature Arkady Renko, was first published in 1981 and is largely set in the Moscow before the collapse of the USSR. Renko, the hero, works as the Chief Homicide Investigator for Moscow's militia - unlike the KGB, who deal with matters if 'State interest', the militia are more or less the standard police force. Renko, therefore, deals with the 'everyday' murders. Displaying one unfortunate trait for a homicide investigator, however, he has a distinct aversion to corpses - though he has a 100% success rate in clearing cases. Unhappily married and somewhat cynical, he's not quite as active a Party member as his wife would like him to be - something that has also had a negative effect on his career. He also appears to be something of a disappointment to his father, a very famous retired General. Renko's boss, Prosecutor Iamskoy, seems to have a certain amount of affection for him though - the Prosecutor actually won an appeal for a worker wrongly convicted of murder thanks to Renko's work.

The book opens in Gorky Park, first park of the Revolution and favoured above all others. Three corpses have been found buried in the snow and, as a result, have been very well preserved. This means that, initially, the time of death can only be estimated as sometime that winter. All three victims - three men and a woman - were all shot through the heart, with the two men also having been shot through the head. The killer, clearly an expert marksman, also has access to a weapon Muscovites cannot typically lay their hands on. No papers could be found on the bodies, which have also been mutilated - the fingerprints and flesh on the faces has been removed, making a quick identification unlikely.
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Format: Paperback
Martin Cruz Smith is a former journalist and magazine editor. "Gorky Park" is his first novel to feature Arkady Renko, was first published in 1981 and is largely set in the Moscow before the collapse of the USSR. Renko, the hero, works as the Chief Homicide Investigator for Moscow's militia - unlike the KGB, who deal with matters if 'State interest', the militia are more or less the standard police force. Renko, therefore, deals with the 'everyday' murders. Displaying one unfortunate trait for a homicide investigator, however, he has a distinct aversion to corpses - though he has a 100% success rate in clearing cases. Unhappily married and somewhat cynical, he's not quite as active a Party member as his wife would like him to be - something that has also had a negative effect on his career. He also appears to be something of a disappointment to his father, a very famous retired General. Renko's boss, Prosecutor Iamskoy, seems to have a certain amount of affection for him though - the Prosecutor actually won an appeal for a worker wrongly convicted of murder thanks to Renko's work.

The book opens in Gorky Park, first park of the Revolution and favoured above all others. Three corpses have been found buried in the snow and, as a result, have been very well preserved. This means that, initially, the time of death can only be estimated as sometime that winter. All three victims - three men and a woman - were all shot through the heart, with the two men also having been shot through the head. The killer, clearly an expert marksman, also has access to a weapon Muscovites cannot typically lay their hands on. No papers could be found on the bodies, which have also been mutilated - the fingerprints and flesh on the faces has been removed, making a quick identification unlikely.
Read more ›
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