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9 Reviews
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars high matters, but easy to grasp
This story is unique. "Usher Syndrome" is written in the first person POV and the main character, Agie, is a M->F transsexual, not the kind of person you normally make your protagonist. She is not a suffering prostitute, drug addict, or a wannabe singer, as in all those cliched stories about M->F transsexuals. She is a successful scientist. Transformation of her character...
Published on April 30, 2012 by True Blue

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Promise
The story has promise, but could do with some fleshing out. The plot is quite unique, but there is a bit of naivety that can be jarring.
Published 17 months ago by Adri


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars high matters, but easy to grasp, April 30, 2012
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This review is from: Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1)) (Kindle Edition)
This story is unique. "Usher Syndrome" is written in the first person POV and the main character, Agie, is a M->F transsexual, not the kind of person you normally make your protagonist. She is not a suffering prostitute, drug addict, or a wannabe singer, as in all those cliched stories about M->F transsexuals. She is a successful scientist. Transformation of her character related to change in gender identity is interconnected with the development of relationship with her new friend, which takes an unexpected twist... It just makes you realize that we know nothing about what love is, but at the same time it leaves no doubt that it is an omnipresent power.
Another notable feature of the book is its scientific aspect. Science is not meant here as a mode of transforming one of the characters into a flying superhero or teleportation to another planet... it is used to cure one of the characters from a real disease that has no treatment today. Given that some of sci-fi fantasies become reality, I hope this will be the case too, but so far, such methods are rare even in sci-fi literature.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The greatest of these is love, January 1, 2013
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Amazon Customer (North Canton,, Ohio, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1)) (Kindle Edition)
While complicated and controversial subject matter, the author reminds us that love and forgiveness is what is truly significant, and that we are all flawed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind, Heart, and Soul!, September 11, 2012
This review is from: Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1)) (Kindle Edition)
I loved this short novella! I read it furiously in one sitting and then went back and read it again. It is fast paced and so human and warm even though the story is one of the most unique I have ever read. These characters were quirky and lovely and intelligent and even though they were so charmingly odd, I connected with each one of them intimately as if I knew them or knew what they were feeling. It went too fast for me, and I am so excited there is a sequel Pumpkin Day to dive right into! Keep writing Grigory, I am a huge fan! Author, Thomas McDermott
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusual Love Story, April 26, 2012
This review is from: Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1)) (Kindle Edition)
I've recently got a Kindle, and was on the hunt to get a couple of new titles for my new shiny gadget. I came across Usher Syndrome in the first instance, well, because it was written by the indie author, a Russian guy studied biology at Cambridge (also the cover looked quite promising too).

Despite the fact I was expecting to find a plenty of difficult-to-understand stuff, I've read the story in one go.

Agie, main character and the story narrator, may be a product of imagination but she's someone I would definitely make friends with in real world. On the flip side, the story is too short and a bit sparse on the setting.

In my opinion, it's an impressive debut (considering that English is not the author's mother tongue). I'd recommend this quirky writer, especially if you're into new indie stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!, April 15, 2012
This review is from: Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1)) (Kindle Edition)
I read the story twice, both in English and in Russian.
It's a really witty and touching story. Agie is a unique heroine. It's a great and easy read!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Cures Blindness (With a Little Help from Science!), November 15, 2012
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This review is from: Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1)) (Kindle Edition)
Usher Syndrome is the thoughtful perspective of a transsexual scientist named Agie who falls in love with a disabled young man. Agie works through the perils and joys of love as she utilizes her scientific expertise to discover a cure for her lover's genetic disorder. I think the story's final revelations are the most poignant, and they lead to an unexpected, heartbreaking conclusion. This is a story about love, forgiveness and a lesson that blindness can be physical, emotional and metaphorical.

"Love is blind; friendship closes its eyes." ~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and well-executed short story, May 13, 2012
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This review is from: Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1)) (Kindle Edition)
As Ryzhakov's debut work of short fiction in English, Usher Syndrome takes a curious and well-written glimpse into the lives of three unique characters and reveals a rich world of personality marbled with seemingly complex themes. Ryzhakov's background in molecular biology trickles through the tale, winding Science and personal identity together delicately; although a work on these subjects could prove quite heavy, Ryzhakov succeeds in creating an easily palatable and enjoyable tale.

Easily read in one sitting, Usher Syndrome is an excellent example of short fiction that packs a punch without unnecessary fluff. Its only flaw might be that it is indeed short--but rumours have it that a sequel is in the works. Ryzhakov is without doubt an upcoming writer to watch!

I recommend Usher Syndrome to anyone who would like a quick, thought-provoking read during their daily commute or morning coffee.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Love is Powerful, July 12, 2013
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This review is from: Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1)) (Kindle Edition)
Agie, a transgender woman and successful Russian scientist, finally finds someone who loves and accepts her for exactly who she is. But Agie's dreams are crushed when she learns the person she loves is suffering from Usher Syndrome - a disorder that causes blindness and deafness.
Usher Syndrome, a short novella, is a medical drama that successfully examines themes of love, friendship, and self-identity. Readers learn that a woman in love is a woman who will do anything for the person she loves. The author teaches us that love is enormously powerful and that true love really does conquers all.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Promise, February 17, 2013
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This review is from: Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1)) (Kindle Edition)
The story has promise, but could do with some fleshing out. The plot is quite unique, but there is a bit of naivety that can be jarring.
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Usher Syndrome (Becoming Agie (1))
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