HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Janissary Tree by Jason Goodwin
Loading...

The Janissary Tree (2006)

by Jason Goodwin

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Inspector Yashim Togalu (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,094497,599 (3.49)123
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 123 mentions

English (42)  Italian (3)  Norwegian (2)  French (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
This book was a delight to read. It has a little bit of who done it and a lot of history and culture embedded in its pages. The character development might have been a little light but I expect that to straighten out in the next titles in the series.

I put this novel in the same category as many of the other food loving detective stories that I have read as Yashim and his friends are very concerned with the quality of their food. Yashim would be right at home with Aurelio Zen, Brunetti, and Montalbano as the food descriptions are delightful. I am beginning to think that detectives need to be gouramands in order to be interesting, when before this I thought they should be observant danger and excitment junkies. Or at the very least master puzzle solvers. But master cooks? ( )
  benitastrnad | Jun 19, 2014 |
A crime fighting Eunuch!!

I'm sure that I'm not the only one but I must admit that that was what originally drew me to this book by (to me) an unknown author. That and the hope of learning a little about a country I know nothing about.On the whole I was not disappointed just felt there could have been so much more.

The Janissary in the title were originally the Ottoman Empire's elite troops (think the Praetorian Guards of the Romans) who through nepotism and corruption by power come to challenge the rule of the Sultan. Ten years before the events of this book the Janissary are overthrown by the New Guard but not totally destroyed and in the present seem to be trying to make a comeback to authority. Four cadets of the New Guard are captured, killed and their bodies returned in pretty gruesome manners. Yashim, the Eunuch,is brought in to discover who is behind the murders.At the same time some of the Sultan's mums jewels has gone missing.

Now the book has all the elements of a murder mystery, a hero who is not the norm, a dastardly villain, a tart-with-a-heart and a bewitching temptress but in many ways the whole murder mystery plot seemed secondary to the main reason for the book which was to give readers a feel of 1836 Istanbul. For example no reason was given as to why Yashim was seem fit to be employed as a detective and most of the characters were rather one dimensional (the exception being the tart-with-a heart)including the two villains. There were also very few plot twists (although I will admit that I only worked out the identity of one of the villains beforehand).

What the author does do well is give a good feel of life in 1830's Istanbul and the decline of the Ottoman Empire with some nice atmospheric depictions. However, I did feel that there was an overall expectation that the reader would already know a little of the background to this historical element. Something I most certainly did not have. Also, some of the descriptions were pretty over-blown at times. I mean did the cookery lessons really add something to the story? Not for me.

Now for the first book in a series I felt that this was a reasonable start and it certainly has not put me off looking for more books by the same author but next time I'll be expecting a little more than what was present here. ( )
  PilgrimJess | May 13, 2014 |
In this historical novel set in 1836 Istanbul, a eunuch named Yashim is asked to investigate into several cases. There are four officers who have gone missing (one of which turns up dead in an oversized cauldron a short while later); the sultan's most recent concubine is murdered in her bed; and the sultan's mother's jewels have gone missing. In the case of the officers, Yashim finds clues that seem to point toward the Janissaries as being responsible for the abduction and it's aftermath. The Janissaries had had a powerful presence in Turkey until 1826, just a decade previous to the start of our story. An elite force created by Sultan Murad I in 1383, they formed the Ottoman Sultan's household troops and bodyguards, but Sultan Mahmud II found them to be an unruly and disruptive presence, and wanting to create a modern army to keep up with the Europeans, he disbanded and slaughtered the Janissaries. But it seems there were survivors after all, and Yashim needs to figure out what they are up to to stop more bodies from turning up dead. Aiding him in his search for clues are his colourful and somewhat eccentric friends, the Polish ambassador and a transsexual dancer. A complex plot and an entertaining mystery set in an exotic place which is undergoing a great transition from ancient traditional customs to European modernization. I would have liked to find out more about Yashim himself, but perhaps more is revealed about him in the following 3 novels. ( )
  Smiler69 | May 11, 2014 |
This book is the first in a series I believe and I found it interesting enough to want to read more of the series.

Yashim is a eunuch attached to the Sultan's household although I'm not sure what his exact job description is. Probably it is whatever the Sultan wishes him to do is what he does. At the beginning of the book a concubine in the harem is killed just before she is due to head to the Sultan's bed the first time. Yashim is asked to investigate the murder. Then 4 officers from the New Guard disappear and their bodies start appearing in unusual places having suffered unusual and disturbing deaths. While visiting the Russian ambassador's residence to question an embassy employee who was last seen in the company of the missing officers Yashim notices an old map of Istanbul. Convinced that the map could help him solve the puzzle of the places where the bodies were left he returns to the Embassy to have a look at it. Although he is not admitted by the butler he manages to get in but while hiding he ends up in the ambassador's wife's bedroom. Rather than screaming the wife is delighted to have Yashim visit. Between decoding the map the pair make love (apparently eunuchs can achieve erections but cannot ejaculate). Yashim believes that the Janissaries, the former guard who were let go after rioting, are behind the murders. The more he learns the more he believes that a coup is coming. As a loyal servant of the Sultan Yashim must do all he can to prevent this but is it enough?

The narrator was a delight. ( )
  gypsysmom | Apr 1, 2014 |
A harem girl has been murdered, the Valide Sultan's jewels have been stolen, and four guardsmen have gone missing. Is there any connection between these events?

Combination detective story and political thriller set against a backdrop of Sultan Mahmud II's attempts to modernise the Ottoman empire in the 1830s. Fascinating evocation of an exotic time and place I for one knew very little about. Because I am so ignorant, I would have appreciated a map of the City and some sort of afterword from the author about the historical background, though a lot of it was covered very naturally in the text. ( )
  Robertgreaves | Feb 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jason Goodwinprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Rossem, Nina vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Finnish Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
For those who have Awareness,

a hint is quite enough.

for the multitudes of heedless

mere knowledge is useless.

-- Haji Bektash Veli
Dedication
To Kate
First words
Yashim flicked at a speck of dust on his cuff.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Information from the Catalan Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312426135, Paperback)

 
Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel
 
It is 1836. Europe is modernizing and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim, a man both brilliant and near-invisible in this world, an investigator who can walk with ease in the great halls of the empire, in its streets, and even within its harems--because, of course, Yashim is a eunuch. His investigation points to the Janissaries, who, for four hundred years were the empire's elite soldiers. Crushed by the sultan, could they now be staging a brutal comeback? And can they be stopped without throwing Istanbul into political chaos?
 
This first book in the Investigator Yashim series is a richly entertaining tale, full of exotic history and intrigue.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:51 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"It is 1836. Europe is modernizing, and the Ottoman Empire must follow suit. But just before the Sultan announces sweeping changes, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court. Who is behind them? Only one intelligence agent can be trusted to find out: Yashim Lastname ... a eunuch. He leads us into the palace's luxurious seraglios and Istanbul's teeming streets, and leans on the wisdom of a dyspeptic Polish ambassador, a transsexual dancer, and a Creole-born queen mother. And he introduces us to the Janissaries. For 400 years, they were the empire's elite soldiers, but they grew too powerful, and ten years ago, the Sultan had them crushed. Are the Janissaries staging a brutal comeback?"--Publisher description.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

LibraryThing Author

Jason Goodwin is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

profile page | author page

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
11 avail.
50 wanted
4 pay7 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.49)
0.5
1 5
1.5 2
2 21
2.5 6
3 93
3.5 48
4 101
4.5 10
5 25

Audible.com

Four editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 92,987,567 books! | Top bar: Always visible