'Manning's old friend Proctor-Gould was in Moscow and anxious to get in touch with him. Or so Manning was informed. He looked forward to the meeting. He had few friends in Moscow, none of them old friends, and no friends at all, old or new, in Moscow or anywhere else, called Proctor-Gould . . .'
Paul Manning, a young Englishman working on his thesis in Soviet-era Moscow, takes on a part-time job as interpreter for the enigmatic Gordon Proctor-Gould, ostensibly an honest businessman, but possibly involved in more clandestine activities. When Proctor-Gould falls for the mercurial blonde Raya, Manning finds himself in the awkward position of acting as interpreter in their love affair, a situation made even more awkward by Manning's own feelings for her. And when it begins to appear Raya may be a police spy, Manning realizes he may have gotten himself into more than he bargained for ...
Featuring an unusual blend of humor and suspense, Michael Frayn's second novel, The Russian Interpreter (1966), was inspired in part by the author's own experiences in Communist Russia and won the Hawthornden Prize as the best work of imaginative fiction published that year. This edition includes a new introduction by the author.
'Altogether a notable book ... Frayn is now our best equipped younger prose-writer as well as being a very sane and very funny one.' - Times Literary Supplement
'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
'Full of quirky, quixotic surprises ... will catch your curiosity and convert it into admiration.' - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933 and began his career as a journalist on the Guardian and the Observer. His novels include Towards the End of the Morning, The Trick of It and A Landing on the Sun. Headlong (1999) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Spies (2002) won the Whitbread Best Novel Award. His most recent novel, Skios, was longlisted for the Booker Prize. His fifteen plays range from Noises Off to Copenhagen and, most recently, Afterlife. He is married to the writer Claire Tomalin.Review:
· "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
· "Frayn... has been compared to Wodehouse, but here it is Waugh to the knife." --Guardian
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