Cover image for Moscow magician : a thriller
Moscow magician : a thriller
Moody, John, 1953-
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Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1990.
General Note:
"A Thomas Dunne book."
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Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Moody's exciting and intelligent first novel is set in post- glasnost Russia, still a dreary, authoritarian country where the goals of the average citizen extend no farther than doing a little better than the system permits, while steering well clear of official scrutiny. A paragon at existing in this economic and political climate, Moscovite Viktor Nikolaich Melanov is a ``fixer.'' Goodnatured and charming, he knows everyone, can procure anything. But after the usually circumspect Viktor cracks an offhand joke to a guard at the American Embassy, his life becomes a nightmare. Following the suicide of a co-worker, Viktor is brought for interrogation to the sadistic, brutal Col. Karushkin of the KGB. Temporarily released, but aware of what lies ahead, Viktor leaves his wife and daughter and seeks asylum with his Jewish friend Sushkin. Together they plan to escape from the Soviet Union via a seemingly impossible feat. Their ingenious efforts, the places they go and the colorful people they encounter form the core of this intriguing thriller. The dialogue is always engaging; the characterizations, physical descriptions and plot development of high standard. The contrasts of Russia--cruelty and kindness, beauty and bestiality--are depicted in starkly realistic terms. This thought-provoking story makes one wonder whether the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. really share any basic values despite the apparent end of the Cold War. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

YA-- ``The flashing red lights sent exactly the right message: we are important and dangerous, out of our way!,'' announces, in this first line, both the pace and the thematic conflict of this political thriller. Readers are introduced to a disillusioned candidate for the Soviet diplomatic corps who, in turn, divulges the name of Viktor Nikolaich--Moscow magician--to his American contact. Viktor, neither spy nor traitor, merely uses his keen observation skills and gregarious nature to pave his way to a more comfortable life. But then a simple act of kindness condemns him to a life away from his beloved family, a life on the run from the KGB. This well-told tale provides leisure reading as well as background information on the current turmoil in the Soviet Union. Government and Russian teachers may want to include it on their recommended fiction lists.--Barbara Hawkins, West Potomac High School, Fairfax County, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.