Set in Constantinople in 1908, Robert Markham, an Englishman in government service, arrives with his imperious wife and young son. Unknown to his ...Show synopsisSet in Constantinople in 1908, Robert Markham, an Englishman in government service, arrives with his imperious wife and young son. Unknown to his family, Markham has a terrible secret in his past. The author won the 1992 Booker Prize for "Sacred Hunger".Hide synopsis
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This is one of his best books. Not only is it an exciting story whose main character is a believable British Army officer attached to the embassy in Constaninople, but because of the tumultuous history behind this particular story. As the mad Sultan watches his Ottoman Empire fall into ruins, we learn how modern Turkey was born, and, more important, why the Middle East is so fragmented and chaotic. Warring tribes and factions are at one another's throats while the main character tries to resolve his grief at being posted back to the city where his Armenian fiancee was brutally murdered on order of the Sultan twelve years ago. His all too human clumsy attempts to come to terms with the event result in more tragedy and grief. This is a realistic story, told from several viewpoints, with vivid descriptions and depth of insight. A real keeper.
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