The Stranger (Labyrinths of Echo Series #1)

( 13 )

Overview

Max Frei's novels have been a literary sensation in Russia since their debut in 1996, and have bowled over the fantasy world. The Stranger will appeal to a broad coalition of delighted readers. Strike a chord with readers of all stripes. Fantasy, horror, philosophy, and dark comedy are all ingredients in this amazing work in which a sharp wit and a bewildering web of clues opens up a Pandora's box of secrets.

Max Frei is a twenty-something loser-a big sleeper (during the day, ...

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The Stranger (Labyrinths of Echo Series #1)

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Overview

Max Frei's novels have been a literary sensation in Russia since their debut in 1996, and have bowled over the fantasy world. The Stranger will appeal to a broad coalition of delighted readers. Strike a chord with readers of all stripes. Fantasy, horror, philosophy, and dark comedy are all ingredients in this amazing work in which a sharp wit and a bewildering web of clues opens up a Pandora's box of secrets.

Max Frei is a twenty-something loser-a big sleeper (during the day, that is-at night he can't catch a wink), a hardened smoker, and an uncomplicated glutton and loafer. But then he gets lucky. He contacts a parallel world in his dreams, where magic is a daily practice. Once a social outcast, he's now known in his new world as the "unequalled Sir Max." He's a member of the Department of Absolute Order, formed by a species of enchanted secret agents; his job is to solve cases more extravagant and unreal than one could imagine-a journey that will take Max down the winding paths of this strange and unhinged universe.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590200650
  • Publisher: Overlook Press, The
  • Publication date: 4/2/2009
  • Series: Labryinths of Echo Series , #1
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.28 (h) x 1.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Max Frei is the author of the bestselling "Labyrinths of Eho" series starring a character named Max Frei, as well as books on literature and art. (He is also the pen name of Svetlana Martynchik, a Russian artist of Ukrainian origin, born in 1965 in Odessa and living now in Moscow.)
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2013

    Great series

    I love these stories, they are great. They are different from other stories involving magic, and are highly entertaining. Very much recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2011

    Great book

    A true silly adventure!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    hated it

    hated it

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2011

    A Night Owl's Dream

    Nocturnal loser, Max Frei, finds his calling in his dreams. His calling as the Nocturnal Representative for the Department of Absolute Order is thrilling and engaging. You watch each case unfold with anticipation in this crazy dream-like world where kittens are the size of sheep and magic is a thing of degrees.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    Loved it!

    This is a very interesting book. Basically a young man who's always been rather different enters a parallel world that he's visited since childhood in his dreams with unique set of rules and magic. It's been compared in other reviews to a darker Harry Potter, and while I hate parroting other reviews I think it's a good assessment. The beginning is a little slow, but it catches your attention as you go along. The author does talk quite a bit about food, which is odd, but I think most mentions of food are actually meals where the characters are talking and you see character development.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    Why the fuss

    When reading this book it would be entirely valid to ask "Was the author hungry the entire time writing this?" As a great deal of the "action" seems to involve either eating huge portions of food (with interesting names) or drinking gallon upon gallon of kamra (essentially coffee). So much so that any normal human would have little time for having adventures and spend all their time either vibrating in a corner or visiting the little mages room.

    The pacing is slow and the dialog of the main character, instead of coming across as glib and witty (aka characters in Jim Butcher or Simon R Green novels), comes across as vapid and somewhat mentally challenged. Perhaps the fault lies in the translation but I counted no fewer than 20 references to horse dung by the main character usually in some attempt at humor.

    Perhaps this book is suitable for the youth of today who consider Twilight to be the height of fantasy, but for me it just left me wanting the book to be 1/4 the length and 10x as action packed.

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  • Posted January 8, 2011

    Fantastic fantasy book

    Great book filled with wizards, mystery, murder and young love.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Stranger (The Labyrinths of Echo) by Max Frei

    The Stranger Book One - The Labyrinths of Echo - Max Frei


    "The Stranger," the first book in "The Labyrinths of Echo" series, is comprised of numerous who-dun-it mysteries that are set in a magical new dimension. When Max, the protagonist, leaves his own dimension into Echo he finds himself befriended by a strange Magician named Sir Juffin Hulley, The Most Venerable Head of the Minor Secret Investigative Force. The two men strike up a close friendship after Max is discovered to have magical skills himself. Russian novelist Frei knows how to tell a good story. Every chapter in the book is a new mystery with dark magic running throughout each. From a demon inhabited mirror, to a Grand Magician who is attempting to beat death by murdering innocents, to the creation of a New World (alternative city) by a 'good' magician, each story is well told and told well.

    "The Stranger" is reminiscent of Susanna Clarke's "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" and Jasper Fforde's "Thursday Next" stories but with much more action, "The Stranger" is set in a magical Victorian dream world accessible only via an enchanted trolley. Frei has developed well-rounded, believable characters and places but his real strength is his dialogue and the developing friendships of the characters. I always find it compelling when a new author tells a good story set in an alternative world. Especially when done from a unique and creative angle. This is one of those tales.

    Engaging and entertaining this book receives 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.

    From the book flap:
    Max Frei's novels have been a literary sensation in Russia since their debut in 1996, and have swept the fantasy world over. Presented here in English for the first time, The Stranger will strike a chord with readers of all stripes. Part fantasy, part horror, part philosophy, part dark comedy, the writing is united by a sharp wit and a web of clues that will open up the imagination of every reader.Max Frei was a twenty-something loser-a big sleeper (that is, during the day; at night he can't sleep a wink), a hardened smoker, and an uncomplicated glutton and loafer. But then he got lucky. He contacts a parallel world in his dreams, where magic is a daily practice. Once a social outcast, he's now known in his new world as the "unequalled Sir Max." He's a member of the Department of Absolute Order, formed by a species of enchanted secret agents; his job is to solve cases more extravagant and unreal than one could imagine-a journey that will take Max down the winding paths of this strange and unhinged universe.

    Note: Max Frei (Russian: ???? ????) is the fictional narrator of ten Russian fantasy novels which make up the "The Labyrinths of Echo" series ("????????? E??"), as well as several other novels. He is also presented as the author of these and other works, although in an additional twist of fantasy, it has been revealed that Max Frei is actually a pen name of Svetlana Martynchik and Igor Stepin the true creators of this literary icon.

    http://thealternativeone.blogspot.com/

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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