Last Train to Istanbul

Customer Reviews

48 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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2 out of 5 stars
By Pen on 06-19-15

Disappointing, for me - it could have been so much better

What disappointed you about Last Train to Istanbul?

A slightly biased and perhaps idealised view of Turkey and life there, much as I love the country, the people and the food. The basis of the story was good, interesting (indeed, deeply fascinating in places), well researched, and it seemed well written, as far as one can tell from the American translation. However, it could have been so much stronger, and provided greater depth. I was interested because part of my family were/are from Turkey, with links also to France and Marseilles. The children were astonishingly well behaved, so little trouble to their parents - not requiring the usual amount of attention and care, even in illness!

Would you ever listen to anything by Ayse Kulin again?


Did the narration match the pace of the story?


What character would you cut from Last Train to Istanbul?

There is no need for that; all characters were a necessary part of the story.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Jeanne on 06-18-15

Interesting story

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Yes. Story is quite captivating and intriguing. Although some characters did not really have development, e.g. Sabiha. It feels like it was cut short.

Would you be willing to try another book from Ayse Kulin? Why or why not?

Yes. I already have another book from her, so will be reading/listening to that next.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

Sometimes the reading was a bit fast, and at the beginning it was a bit monotonous, but the pace and the style changed at the end.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No. I don't think it would be done well in the cinema, unless they tie the loose ends.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Suzy on 10-05-14

Disappointing and confusing

What would have made Last Train to Istanbul better?

It was difficult to distinguish between the characters and the story introduced characters part way through which added to the confusion.

What will your next listen be?

Not sure yet - something easy listening

What aspect of Sanjiv Jhaveri’s performance might you have changed?

They did too many accents and the Turkish ones were difficult to understand and the French characters all sounded the same which meant it was hard to follow. Less accents would have helped

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Well I haven't managed to finish it, but I would say it highlighted a hidden part of world war 2 in that I hadn't previously thought about the Turkish side of things.

Any additional comments?

I wish this had been better as the idea of an interweaving family story in World War Two from a Turkish perspective is fascinating. However it's difficult to keep track of characters and the story's pace is very slow. The many and varying accents don't help. I can't help but feel I would have enjoyed this better if it had more neutral narration. I have the kindle book so maybe I will finish this myself. I can't recommend the audio version.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Anonymous User on 08-02-18

Interesting story, weird performance

overall it is an interesting book, captivating. the narrator was a bit weird with the different accents and high voice for women.
would still recommend

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2 out of 5 stars
By A.C Ghanouni on 02-11-18

Awful Performance

I will gladly give the book a second chance, I ended up getting it as a free download on Kindle I think, but the Audible production is just awful. I couldn't finish it because the performance is just so poor. Jhaveri sounds like one of those tannoy announcements on the train station when they are saying all the stops the coming train will make. Of course, all of those station names have been individually recorded, and then just put together for the announcement. That's how this reader sounds! There is no flow to anything he says, each word sounds like a random, individual recording put together for a single announcement. Absolutely awful. If I were Kulin, I would be miffed at best!

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2 out of 5 stars
By M. Griffiths on 11-04-17

Painful, like a train ride across europe

There is a good story here, set against interesting history surrounding the role of Turkish diplomacy in WW2 and its Jewish population. Sadly this is butchered by poor writing and/or translation, and annoying narration: imagine screeching women let loose onto the world of "Hello Hello"........

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