Russian novelists have a knack of cramming their stories with such a large number of characters that the majority of their non-Russian leaders get lost in the crowd. Adding to the confusion is the similarity of male and female Christian names and the addition of a suffix to the surname to denote the female. Again, it appears that the name by which a person is addressed depends on the relationship with the person who is addressing him. A stranger or a remote acquaintance will use the surname, a friend or close acquaintance will use the first Christian name whilst relatives and very close friends will address a person by his or her second Christian name. This use of different names to denote the same person becomes mystifying to most English readers.