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City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William…
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City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi (1993)

by William Dalrymple

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,1352310,941 (4.02)86
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» See also 86 mentions

English (22)  Dutch (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Partially read. not good
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
Fab book on New Delhi. Have given at least five copies to friends who are moving there. Just got a copy signed by Dalrymple while he was in Singapore this past week :-) ( )
  pbjwelch | Jul 25, 2017 |
In his inimitable style WD attempts to recount the travails of this historic city by weaving together contemporary and historical vignettes interspersed with a generous dash of humor.

To say that some of the rulers of Delhi the Sultans and later the Mughal Emperors were cruel and decadent is a gross understatement. A few of them esp Muhammad Bin Tughlaq and Shah Jehan seemed to revel in cruelty and debauchery. This Tughlaq dude was a true megalomaniac, he moved the entire population of Delhi to the South of India into a Fort city called Daulatabad (having to make it by foot, only 1 in 10 made it) only to move back to Delhi after 2 years.

Maintaining a large Harem was de rigueur with everyone maintaining a fair mix of wifes and concubines.

One pattern emerges and that is the decline of cities like Old Delhi and Lucknow with the flight of the muslim middle class and intelligentsia during partition. But listen to M.J. Akbar who recently in a meeting thanked God profusely for having given him and his family the foresight to stay back and not follow the rest to of them to that hell.
1 vote danoomistmatiste | Jan 24, 2016 |
In his inimitable style WD attempts to recount the travails of this historic city by weaving together contemporary and historical vignettes interspersed with a generous dash of humor.

To say that some of the rulers of Delhi the Sultans and later the Mughal Emperors were cruel and decadent is a gross understatement. A few of them esp Muhammad Bin Tughlaq and Shah Jehan seemed to revel in cruelty and debauchery. This Tughlaq dude was a true megalomaniac, he moved the entire population of Delhi to the South of India into a Fort city called Daulatabad (having to make it by foot, only 1 in 10 made it) only to move back to Delhi after 2 years.

Maintaining a large Harem was de rigueur with everyone maintaining a fair mix of wifes and concubines.

One pattern emerges and that is the decline of cities like Old Delhi and Lucknow with the flight of the muslim middle class and intelligentsia during partition. But listen to M.J. Akbar who recently in a meeting thanked God profusely for having given him and his family the foresight to stay back and not follow the rest to of them to that hell.
  kkhambadkone | Jan 17, 2016 |
The book's description makes you think there will be an element of the supernatural interwoven into the story, the biography of the city of Delhi, in interesting ways. I didn't find that. Instead this is a rambling look at the various layers and neighborhoods of the Delhi of today and on back for millennia. Don't get me wrong, I liked these stories. There are Dickensian elements in the moldering English holdovers; the ones left behind. There are haunted houses and superstitions a la Henry James. There is humor and irony galore. India and Indian people are a fascinating blend of cultures and superstitions, fictions and half-truths, extremes of asceticism and glamour; all soaked and nurtured by their sacred rivers and baked by their sun. This book wasn't a page-turner per se but I enjoyed reading it. ( )
  libbromus | Oct 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Dalrymple, WilliamAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Fraser, OliviaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142001007, Paperback)

 Sparkling with irrepressible wit, City of Djinns peels back the layers of Delhi's centuries-old history, revealing an extraordinary array of characters along the way-from eunuchs to descendants of great Moguls. With refreshingly open-minded curiosity, William Dalrymple explores the seven "dead" cities of Delhi as well as the eighth city—today's Delhi. Underlying his quest is the legend of the djinns, fire-formed spirits that are said to assure the city's Phoenix-like regeneration no matter how many times it is destroyed. Entertaining, fascinating, and informative, City of Djinns is an irresistible blend of research and adventure.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:58 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

William Dalrymple recounts his travels in the ancient city of Delhi, tracing the city's long history and describing the people and events that have defined the city and its people.

» see all 2 descriptions

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