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The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
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The Dervish House (edition 2011)

by Ian McDonald

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8604216,145 (3.89)168
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.
Member:antimodern
Title:The Dervish House
Authors:Ian McDonald
Info:Pyr (2011), Paperback, 410 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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The Dervish House by Ian McDonald

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» See also 168 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
Luminous!! ( )
  apomonis | Jun 2, 2016 |
Sf en Turquie, plutot bien fait, inspiré des nano tech.
Read a second time and enjoyed it because of the mutiple strata historical sociological technological and a concise style. ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 1, 2016 |
This labyrinthine book had some knockout ideas with occasional glittering passages. However, I lost interest about half way through. The slow pace of the story, the lack of chronological order and the numerous protagonists with unfamiliar names made it very hard to follow; and I found it impossible to understand many of the references without explanation. (An index at the end of the book would be helpful). ( )
  Jawin | Mar 26, 2016 |
Writing is truly brilliant. The story telling, not so much. I found it a very difficult read. The multiple plot lines come together nicely in the end. I only give it a 4 because it has such literary merit, but I can't say I really enjoyed it. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
I do not know how to review this book because it was so well-written, and the imagination of it all, and the knowledge of the city showed that he really had aspired to learn as much as much as he could. And even if I liked it, it was still too confusing for me to really get lost in it.

There is so much going on, and there are a lot of characters. Adnan is a trader with a get rich scheme with his buddies. His wife Ayse owns a gallery and buys religious art. She is hired to find the mellified man, a man who became honey after his death (do not get me started, it has to do with how he lived on honey and became mummified.) Georgios, an old Greek who is a professor in Economics, Can who is nine and who with his robots uncovers a terrorist plot and won't let go. Leyla who wants a job in marketing and later has to hunt something down for her new job. Necdet who after being caught in a suicide bombing starts seeing djinn.

The thing is that it would all have worked for me if it had not jumped so much. I was reading about Adnan and turned the page and suddenly I was reading about Can. For me it was just too jumpy and I got confused. I did not know who was who and what they were doing. It took a really long time for me to get into the book and understand what was going on. Even then I have no idea what Adnan was up too. But then his plot was just too complicated.

This book has a lot going on. Hidden relics, trying to find terrorists before they strike again, people not wanting to be a part of the EU. A hot summer where gas is wanted. People who see djinn and other things that should not exist. And it is interesting.

The best part is the new world he has built up. Where nanos are inserted into our bloodstream to make us concentrate better, and everything you could imagine. Where we can see what is happening on our retina, like a computer. It is a new world but at the same time an old world, and the changes are not big, instead they are believable.

It is a book to read slowly. That is my advice.

Conclusion:
Even if the book was not for me I was impressed by the science fiction parts and how these lives came together like a puzzle. ( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)

After Africa (Chaga - aka Evolution’s Shore -, Kirinya and Tendeleo’s Story), India (River Of Gods, Cyberabad Days) and Brazil (Brasyl), in The Dervish House McDonald now turns his attention to Turkey: specifically Istanbul.

The novel is set several years after Turkey has finally gained EU membership and joined the Euro (perhaps a somewhat more remote possibility now than when McDonald was writing) in an era when children can control real, mobile, self assembling/disassembling transformers and adults routinely use nanotech to heighten awareness/response in much the way they do chemical drugs at present. The fruit of what may have been a prodigious quantity of geographical and historical research is injected more or less stealthily into the text.

The main plot is concerned with a terrorists group’s plans to distribute nano behaviour changing agents designed to engender a consciousness of mysticism, if not of the reality of God/Allah. The resultant, what would otherwise be magic realist visions of djinni and karin, is thereby given an SF rationale.

In the interlinked narratives of those who live in and around an old Dervish House in Adam Dede Square, and covering events occurring over only four days, there are subplots about contraband Iranian natural gas, corrupt financial institutions and insider dealings, the circumscription of non-Turkish minorities, tales of youthful betrayal and frustrated love, not to mention the discovery of an ancient mummy embalmed in honey, which last gives the author the opportunity to deploy a nice pun on the phrase honey trap. The usual eclectic McDonald conjunction of disparate ingredients, then, and somehow amid all this he manages to finagle football into the mix as early as page two. Fair enough, though; Turkey’s fans are notoriously passionate about the game.

While not quite reaching the heights of Brasyl or River Of Gods, The Dervish House still has more than enough to keep anyone turning the pages.
added by jackdeighton | editA Son Of The Rock, Jack Deighton (Jan 6, 2011)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian McDonaldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martiniere, StephanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The white bird climbs above the city of Istanbul: a stork, riding the rising air in a spiral of black-tipped wings
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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 one hundred million, Istanbul swollen to fifteen 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. Gas is power. But it's power at a price, and that price is emissions permits. This is the age of carbon consciousness: every individual in the EU has a card stipulating individual carbon allowance that must be produced at every CO2 generating transaction. For those who can master the game, who can make the trades between gas price and carbon trading permits, who can play the power factions against each other, there are fortunes to be made. The old Byzantine politics are back. They never went away. The ancient power struggled between Sunni and Shia threatens like a storm: Ankara has watched the Middle East emerge from twenty-five 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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