Customer Reviews for

The Bastard of Istanbul

Average Rating 3.5
( 26 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(4)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2008

    The best book ive read so far this year

    I picked this book up randomly at B&N, a bit curious given the title. Istanbul has always been on the list of places I want to travel to. Reading this book, I felt like I was there. The family bond that you read is so touching. The passion these people are about their ancestors and culture is amazing. All the characters in this book are so realistic. I have already recommended this book to several people. This book hit my itch to read a book culturally rich. I have put Istanbul on the top of my list and will travel there as soon as its possible. I will definitely read another book from this author!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2007

    A reviewer

    I always wanted to travel to Istanbul, and the descriptions of the sisters living in that city are fascinating. The story behind Armanoush's Armenian family is sad, yet hopeful. The plot moved quickly, and the ending is quite a surprise. It's got a little bit of romance, mystery, suspense and historical significance. What a great read this was. I highly, highly recommend this to all. I'm surprised it's not on the bestseller list. Oh, and kudos for the author who had the guts to write this as a Turkish woman about the Armenian genocide. I'm glad she didn't end up in jail. So, folks, take advantage of your freedom to read 'anything' and buy this book, or check it out of the library.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    A good read

    I enjoyed this book very much. It was my first read of Ms Shafaks' work, having read recommendations from Paul Theroux in his lastest book. I am happy to say I enjoyed this one far more than I did one by her national colleague, Orhan Pamuk. If you're sampling Turkish writers, this is a good place to start. A bit of a chick flick, but the writing carries you along since it is a great story, thoughtfully told.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Beware: The Story is Not True to Its Billing

    It is so hard to rate this book because I felt differently about different parts of the book:

    Beginning (Ch 1-5) 2 Stars
    Middle (Ch 6 - 14) 4 Stars
    End (Ch 14-18) 1 Star

    The Bastard of Istanbul is billed as a story of two families, one Armenian and one Turk, tied together by a secret related to the 1915 Armeian deportation and massacre. This portion of the story is very good. Unfortunately, this is a minor part of the story wtih the crux being disgusting and so unrelated to promising premise that you have to wonder if Shafak is simply going for shock value. The story is really about secrets and the destruction of those lies needed to keep that secret .

    The Kazanci family from Istanbul is a family with a curse. The men in the family die young. In current day Istanbul four generations of women live together with the exception of one brother who was sent to America in an attempt to protect him from the curse. Each of these women differ vastly in personality. Petit Ma is the gentle matriarch who now suffers from Alzheimer's Disease. Mother Gulsum is akin to Ivan the Terrible. Oldest sister Banu the clairvoyant, Sister Cevriye high school history teacher, Sister Feride is dealing with mental illness resulting in paranoia, rebel Zeliha, and the daughter she bore out of wedlock, Asya co-exist despite their vast differences.

    Brother Mustafa marries an American girl named Rose. Rose is a divorced mother of one daughter, Amy (Armanoush). Armanoush's father's family is Armenian and never approved of the American marriage with an Odar. The Armenian famiy are surivivors of the 1915 genocide. Originally Rose dates Mustafa seeking revenge on her ex Armenian in-laws but gradually a sincere love is formed. Armanoush, struggling with her conflicting cultural pasts, secretly travels to Istanbul to stay with her step-father's family to learn more of her Armenian heritage. The visit brings to light a litany of secrets impacting both families.

    Possible Spoiler:

    Late in the book we learn that Asya is not the result of her mother's rebelious streak but rather a very oddly constructed rape. The choice for the perpetrator is disgusting and doesn't add anything to the story. It is very disappointing that Shafak took the story in that direction and really ruined the book for me personally.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2011

    .

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  • Posted September 3, 2011

    Not good...

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Worth more than 5 *s!

    I read this book in less than a week. So far it's the best Elif Shafak's book I have read. I like the way she blends fiction, history and culture all together. It gave me some insight about my bf's cultural background.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2009

    Liked It!

    Kind of slow but good ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2009

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