Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Dervish House Hardcover – July 27, 2010
|New from||Used from|
50% off featured Fantasy books
Select Fantasy books are up to 50% off for a limited time. Learn More
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
Considering how much I loved River of Gods, Brasyl, and Cyberabad Days, I'm aware that I should have waited a bit longer before granting Under Heaven its crown. After all, every McDonald title I've read since the creation of the Hotlist ended up in my top reads of that year. Call it Canadian patriotism or whatever you like, but I really wanted Guy Gavriel Kay to finish in pole position at the end of 2010. Unfortunately, Ian McDonald had another think coming for me.
The Dervish House is without a doubt his best and most accessible science fiction novel to date. And to put it simply, it just blew my mind. Believe me, I did try to find some shortcomings and facets that left a little to be desired. All to no avail, of course. The Dervish House is about as good as it gets, folks. McDonald's past novels had already set the bar rather high, no question. But this one, at least for me, is as close to perfection as a book can get.
Here's the blurb:
It begins with an explosion. Another day, another bus bomb. Everyone it seems is after a piece of Turkey. But the shock waves from this random act of twenty-first-century pandemic terrorism will ripple further and resonate louder than just Enginsoy Square.Read more ›
I really don't want to give it all away, so I'll say little more. Suffice it that all these threads get woven together to tell a really great story.
If you've been to Istanbul, that's a bonus, as you'll be able to picture the streets and neighborhoods. Also, you'll fully grok how it's perfectly possible for Istanbul to have an underground world that's barely known, and in which historical artifacts just get lost. You may even find yourself wanting to buy an antique Istanbul house, just so you can clear it to its original beautiful architecture.
Dear Lord, the more I think of it, what a great book. He's got the history of a place like Istanbul down pat, and can project forward to a new generation of "Young Turks". This is just brilliantly well done. The more I reflect on it, the more I love this book. I'll be re-reading it for years. So, thanks, Ian McDonald. Actually, more like "Go raibh maith agat".
The weather is an actor in this book, just as in Kurosawa's "Stray Dog".
This is the second book I've read by the author ("Brasyl", previously). The man knows his "Gaeilge" (Irish), and he's obviously been to Rio de Janeiro and Istanbul - two of my favorite cities. I feel like we're living parallel lives, but while I'm only taking pictures, he's writing great books.
Something else that occurs: I think the EU's rejection of Turkey, along with growing Islamist sentiment in Turkey itself, is likely to keep this book mostly a work of fiction, Apart from ongoing ethnic cleansing (see <[...]), the rise of neighborhood shaykhs and more neighborhood shariat law, I suppose. Pity that.
What I would like to emphasize here is something else. The book, almost everything in it, places, names, characters and dialogues look and sound extremely unnatural. Reading this book for me was like watching a TV drama about some event in Turkey, BUT: The scenario is written by Americans who never been to Turkey in their life, all Turkish characters are played by American actors. Imagine Angelina Jolie and Brat Pitt playing a Turkish couple, speaking in English while adding a couple of words in Turkish in their sentences from time to time. Basically, the "Turks" in this book look like articificial models. That's the general impression the book gives.
And I sincerely don't believe that the author has conducted an admirable "ground work", as some readers claim. You have to be from here, of course, to understand that. I think that the author came in Istanbul, passed a couple of weeks here (maximum), went to Kaş also, got back to his country with a dozen of tourist guides, city maps, an English-Turkish dictionary (maybe he uses an online one, I'm not sure), perhaps a "Short History of Turkey" style book... And he wrote this novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Beautifully written, wonderful characters, interesting plot(s)Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
This is another excruciating experience--I paid for this book and I will finish it. It is like sucking on a bitter fruit. I enjoy the imagery but so far at 24% it is disjointed. Read morePublished 3 months ago by drzeyd
Highly enjoyable and seems to capture aspects of Turkish culture and politics.Published 6 months ago by The Raven Summons
This is an anthropology told in jump cuts; humane science fiction; Orwellian with a hint of Gurdjieff in the finish. McDonald is one of the finest writers of this generation.Published 10 months ago by Moose
It took me a while to slog through this book. McDonald is intent on invoking the atmosphere of an Istanbul that is at once ancient and modern, and for the most part he succeeds but... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Andrew Reid
In many ways this was the least science-fiction sci-fi novel I've ever read - and that made it even better. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Dan Harlow
Totally loved it. First thing I've read in a while that had me completely engrossed. Have spent time in Istanbul and McDonal really nails it in terms of the culture and ambience... Read morePublished 12 months ago by kyra saulnier
Recommended by a friend, and now I am pushing onto my people.
Riveting, prescient, and beautiful. This book is a dense and glorious portrait of past, present and future Istanbul. It's wonderful.Published 23 months ago by Jeffery Juliard