Member Reviews

This was a snappy, witty read that kept me on the hook until the very end. I was charmed by Citizen Orlov right off the bat, who called to mind a somewhat more capabale Maxwell Smart or a less bumbling Mr. Bean. The plot was interesting, but the interplay of the characters is what made the story compelling. I found myself rooting for Orlov even when he frustrated me. This book's dystopian themes are considerably lightened by its enormous heart: I came away feeling as though I'd read 1984 as written by Catch 22's Joseph Heller. It's fun, funny, and compulsively readable. I would recommend this book to fans of dystopian satires, people who love polical espionage but made wacky, and anyone wishing to break up their usual routine with something that feels a little different but familiar enough to be a very safe bet, Thank you Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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I enjoyed the narration but the story itself fall short for me. This was a book if I had been reading only a physical copy or ebook, I would have DNFed it.

It was hard to follow Orlov and how he would get from one point to another. It felt like pieces of the story was missing.

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I really enjoyed this book although I can't quite put my finger on why. It was a sarcastic, cynical take on the stereotypical Big Brother Motherland and read like a post-war comedy of errors. I loved the main character; especially his development from the clueless man at the start not making anything of his life, to what he becomes in the end. The plot was just the right level of ridiculous yet still terrifyingly possible, and I enjoyed the various awkward situations that Orlov got himself to. I will definitely be reading it again!

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This started out interesting and I really wanted it to work for me but overall it just didn't and I dnfed it at 65%.

Thank you NetGalley for the ALC.

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Citizen Orlov is a fishmonger who happens to answer a phone that is ringing in an open window as he passes. The message was for someone he doesn't know and sounds like an undercover mission. Orlov finds himself getting roped into the mission, intent on delivering his message to the right person. He then stumbles upon himself becoming an agent and has no idea what is going on. He just keeps going with everything.

This audiobook is a funny story of a regular guy finding himself roped into outlandish circumstances. It's light-hearted and mysterious. It does get a bit confusing at times because there are many characters.

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I chose Citizen Orlov by Jonathan Payne because I wanted to change up my usual genres and try something in the satire genre. I listened to the audio version read by Tim Campbell. Campbell narrated clearly and tried to add the humor to Orlov's remarks, but for me it missed the mark.

There's plenty of twists and action right from the get-go, when Citizen Orlov answers a telephone and gets put into the world of secret agents. I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters and was bored several times while listening. I finished the book hoping to find the humor, but it just wasn't there for me.

**I received this free audiobook through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.**

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I'd have to put this book somewhere between Kafka and Patrick deWitt. There are definite Kafkian undertones in a storyline that circles round several times but its a lot funnier than Kafka.

Citizen Orlov, a worker on a fishmongers market stall, begins with our unlikely hero answering a ringing telephone. It's quite possible that we'd do the same and Orliv certainly doesn't anticipate the sequence of events that follows where he starts by simply having to give a message to an agent of the state and ends up (the first time) embroiled in "matters of national security".

You are definitely under no illusion that despite the country being ruled by a king, that king is a mere puppet of the state. Orlov finds himself getting deeper and deeper without ever really knowing what he is doing. The story slips and slides around him and you definitely get the impression that Orlov is constantly out of his depth.

I was going to give this 3 stars but I had to award it one more for the end because i really didn't see that coming at all.

I listened to the audio version and it was very clearly read by Tim Campbell. Orlov comes across as bewildered and Agent Zelner (probably spelling it wrong) is the perfect side of untrustworthy.

Thankyou to Netgalley and Camcat Books for the advance review copy.
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I really enjoyed this unique take on a spy mystery book. It actually reminded me a bit of the Steve Martin/Dan Aykroyd movie Spies Like Us which I loved. Citizen Orlov haphazardly goes from being a fishmonger to a spy with very little training and just wants to serve his country the best way he can. The resulting foibles are a humorous adventure and you can't help but like Citizen Orlov and cheer him on to get it right. The writing drew me in immediately and the shorter chapters kept the story moving right along. You don't want to miss this one! The audiobook is a fantastic way to enjoy this story.

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What an audible treat! I am a fan of this type of satirical writing and Jonathan Payne does the genre proud. An excellent story, full of misunderstanding, misinformation and general mayhem all happening around our hero Orlov.
This poor man's life is turned sideways when he answers a telephone call, he goes from being a humble, if discontented, fish seller and becomes embroiled in a plot to kill the king! Brilliantly written with clever dialogue and entertaining side characters, I highly recommend this audiobook. It is so good. Thank you Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced copy of Citizen Orlov.

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*Many thanks to Jonathan Payne, CamCat Books, and NetGalley for a free audiobook in exchange for my honest review.*
The novel is a pastiche that touches the world of the secret agents, and it was fun to listen to thanks to excellent narration by Mr Campbell, however, this is certainly not a novel that will stay with me for long.
Citizen Orlov, a proud but rather ordinary fishmonger, answers a phone as it seems there is nobody else to do so, and becomes involved in actions he has never anticipated. The novel is not set in a particular country or period but the names suggest somewhere in Central Europe, during the reign of a monarch whose life is endangered by groups believed to be revolutionaries and terrorists. Citizen Orlov decides to convey the message and this move results in the chain of events that leave him overwhelmed.
I like the way the novel ends, but I did not warm up to any character in particular, which is not what I appreciate while reading a book.

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This fell short for me. The beginning was very silly and fun, giving an almost Pink Panther illusion. Where the main character is getting himself into ridiculous situations due to his overall stupidity and non-knowledge in the government. As the book continued it became more serious, and lost any and all whimsy, which felt like a lost opportunity.

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Citizen Orlov is a British novel which follows ordinary fishmonger Citizen Orlov who stumbles into an assignment with the Ministry (which one, He certainly does not know) and becomes and inadvertent spy and unlikely terrorist. His misadventure is comical as a terrible series of events unfold. I really enjoyed this book. If your looking for a cozy spy mystery, this is for you. The audiobook is engaging and you won't want to put it down if only to find out what else could possible go wrong for this man on his assignment.

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I’m not too sure how to review this one, it started off as entertaining but did start to get a bit confusing towards the end. I think I might have missed the point of the story but I found the main character difficult to like or find interesting.

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A rollicking adventure of a simple fishmonger who unwittingly becomes a secret agent. Lots of fun! Thanks so much to Net Galley for the ARC.

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This is an entertaining, fun and humorous satire from Jonathan Payne which I listened to on audio, ably narrated by Tim Campbell in a manner which kept my attention easily from beginning to end, and is approximately 8 hours and 30 minutes long. Loyal Citizen Orlov is a lowly and simple fishmonger who finds himself out of his depth when he answers a phone call with a message for a person in the Ministry of Security that he desperately tries to get hold of, doing the best that he can only to find himself swimming in the deep waters of espionage, murder, deception, intrigue, betrayal, and danger. There is the not to be trusted femme fatale, Agent Zelle, and many more obstacles for the wonderfully guiless Orlov to navigate his way through. A brilliant book and listen which I have no hesitation in recommending to readers. Many thanks to CamCat Books for an ALC.

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Citizen Orlov is a farcical, entertaining novel about a man's mistakenly answering a phone call and continuously trying to do the right thing enmeshes him in political machinations.
His country is ruled by a king, and various folks have design on him -- from his son the crown prince and his zealous supporters to various political parties attempting to add representative government.
Orlov finds himself duty-bound to deliver crucial, secret information about an operation, and in delivering the message he becomes a part of the plot, filling in for the contact he was supposed to meet.
His handler gives him increasingly difficult and morally dubious instructions in a series of outlandish clandestine meetings, eventually using his mother's safety as coercion.
Things escalate in interesting ways and Orlov brings the reader into the machinations of political parties, government bureaus, and more.
This is a very important novel in showing how far people will go to protect or advance their interests, and how blinded they can be to the effects. This is all heightened by the country's very impersonal way of addressing everyone by their title and surname - from "Citizen" to "Agent" to "Minister," etc.

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A none-too-bright fishmonger agrees to deliver a message to a government building and immediately finds himself conscripted and sent on an important mission. In this tale, set in an unnamed Central European country ruled by a king, Citizen Orlov is asked to abet an assassination attempt before returning to work at the market fish stall. But what was to be a simple task becomes more involved until he no longer knows for whom he is working and to what end.

The dark humor is in the situational absurdities of the bureaucratic, political, and cloak-and-dagger operations that keep Citizens Orlov in the dark for much of the novel. While mostly cynical it ends on a positive note. I enjoyed going along for the ride with Citizen Orlov as he tried to figure out what he should do next (and how to save his mother).

My thanks to the author, publisher, and #NetGalley for an early copy of the audiobook for review purposes.

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Citizen Orlov written by Jonathan Payne and narrated by Tim Campbell is an Orwellian Satire whereby a humble Fishmongers assistant rises to the position of Minister of Security. The distance between the two vocations is extensive enough, but the path between them is a route of espionage, intrigue, mistaken identity and duplicity, all resulting from just one phone call

Orlov is a fantastic protagonist, just going with the flow, trying to do the right thing and really not the sharpest tool in the shed. I admit to chuckling each time the author mentioned him "lumbering". I also liked Venev, Orlov's boss the fishmonger, and also comrade of the Peoples front. The Mata Hari of the tale is quite the villainess and she keeps Orlov tied up in knots at every turn, not least by having his mother kidnapped. But how does he rise to being the Minister of Security, and where does a misplaced bomb plot fit in?

The audiobook is simply brilliant and had me captivated throughout. Campbell flits easily between gender, character and cadence, meeting each turn in the narrative with ease. A really enjoyable listen

Jonathan Payne is hilarious while still conveying a deeper observation of dystopic authoritarian social structures which are also evident in certain contemporary soceities. I was utterly intrigued and would recommend this book highly. Brilliant!

Thank you to Netgalley, Camcat Books | Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members' Audiobooks and the brilliant author Jonathan Payne and narrator Tim Campbell for this highly entertaining and thought-provoking ALC. My review is left voluntarily and all opinions are my own

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Citizen Orlov is a satirical spin on an espionage story. Orlov is an honest man and a simple fish monger, but when he answers an annoying ringing phone he ends up getting himself wrapped up in a crazy plot against the king. It sounds so simple at first, take a message and deliver it to an agent, but things keep going wrong, and he finds himself getting mixed up deeper and deeper with no real chance to exit the crazy path he finds himself on. The overall story is enjoyable, though it moved a little slow for my taste. That may be due to Payne’s writing style. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the writing, it just felt rather passive. Even at moments that should be ‘intense’ it comes off as a bit too relaxed, to much like a clinical report of what is happening rather than feeling like being right in the middle of the action. I’d like to thank CamCat Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to listen to an advanced copy of the audio version of Citizen Orlov.

https://www.amazon.com/review/R3LMXIRH3ANLVO/ref=pe_1098610_137716200_SRTC0204BT_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv

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Jonathan Payne's 'Citizen Orlov' is a delightful romp through the world of espionage, with an unlikely hero at its center. When ordinary fishmonger Citizen Orlov receives a mysterious phone call, he is thrust into a thrilling adventure filled with intrigue and danger. As Orlov navigates the twists and turns of espionage, readers are treated to a charming and humorous tale of an ordinary man thrust into extraordinary circumstances. Payne's writing is sharp and witty, and he expertly blends elements of spy fiction with comedic flair. 'Citizen Orlov' is a captivating read from start to finish, guaranteed to keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

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