The Dervish House

  • by Ian McDonald
  • Narrated by Jonathan Davis
  • 21 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It begins with an explosion. Another day, another bus bomb. Everyone, it seems, is after a piece of Turkey. But the shockwaves from this random act of 21st-century pandemic terrorism will ripple further and resonate louder than just Enginsoy Square.
Welcome to the world of The Dervish House; the great, ancient, paradoxical city of Istanbul, divided like a human brain, in the great, ancient, equally paradoxical nation of Turkey. The year is 2027 and Turkey is about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its accession to the European Union; a Europe that now runs from the Arran Islands to Ararat. Population pushing 100 million, Istanbul swollen to 15 million, Turkey is the largest, most populous and most diverse nation in the EU, but also one of the poorest and most socially divided. It's a boom economy, the sweatshop of Europe, the bazaar of central Asia, the key to the immense gas wealth of Russia and Central Asia.
The ancient power struggle between Sunni and Shia threatens like a storm: Ankara has watched the Middle East emerge from 25 years of sectarian conflict. So far it has stayed aloof. A populist prime minister has called a referendum on EU membership. Tensions run high. The army watches, hand on holster. And a Galatasary Champions' League football game against Arsenal stokes passions even higher.
The Dervish House is seven days, six characters, three interconnected story strands, one central common core - the eponymous dervish house, a character in itself - that pins all these players together in a weave of intrigue, conflict, drama, and a ticking clock of a thriller.

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What the Critics Say



British Science Fiction Association (BSFA) Award, 2011

"This is a brilliant, jewelled machine of a novel in which lives trigger events in other lives, in a sequence that skirts chaos and disaster, but ends with gorgeous order." (The Independent, UK)
"McDonald takes the history of Istanbul, both real and imagined, and forges a multi-faceted and fascinating character out of the city itself; then he adds in the experiences of six people whose lives are about to intersect in the most unexpected ways…. McDonald creates a magnificent knot of intrigue, thrills, and daring adventures, with the flair for character and setting that make his tales so satisfying to indulge in." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Listen, but then read

This is a wonderful book, a literate and engaging political, futuristic, sci-fi, spy, thriller, travel, mystery, history, romance, picaresque, philosophical coming of age story. Yes, it defies type casting. It is so intriguing, it will send you straight to Google Maps satellite, Wikipedia, and maybe even the non-fiction stacks of the library. You will want to know more. I love to get my serious thinking with a spoonful of the sugar of imagination and plot. The heroes are many and all unlikely. The villains are bad enough, but not incredibly evil, actually real. The same might be said of the near future setting, which is entirely plausible. Well done, Ian McDonald! Jonathan Davis is a great narrator, managing to find just the right voice for each character without resorting to falsetto women and children or exaggerated accents. My one complaint is that, as the recording is paced, and I am sure this is editing, not narration, there is no pause between apparent chapters, resulting in a seamlessness inappropriate to the story. Just the littlest pause when the scene changes would have eliminated momentary senses of dislocation for the listener as the plot moved forward. This novel deserves to be listened to, but then read with leisure for thinking about McDonald's ideas.
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- Karen

Sci-fi and a bit of anthropology - nice!

This story Offers an insight into Turkey and a fascinating sci-fi novel set in the near future it's sure to keep you enthralled. Things started a little slowly and at first I wasn't that impressed with the reading or the prose, but stick with it for an hour and you will be enchanted right to the end. Some interesting ideas, I will be looking out some more Ian McDonald books as I really enjoyed this one!
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- Mark "I love to read..."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-16-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios