The style of writing is very, very readable. But it isn’t gripping. Insted it is a story that you can read and become engrossed in, but never have the sense that it is a page-turner. You are never racing to find out what happens next. Which is a good thing, as it allows you the chance to pay attention to the beautiful language and descriptions on the page.
De Bernières is probably most famous for his Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, and this books deals with the same general part of the world, although it is set slightly before that novel. It also has a shared character, which I didn’t realise until about half way through, other probably figured it out much earlier.
The book is big. An epic, sprawling all over the history of Turkey, and with plenty to saw about people, nationalism and politics, and all the horrors that they can bring. And there is so much in it that I was unfamilar with I almost felt as though I should take out a history book and read that at the same time. But I didn’t, de Bernières makes everything understandable. Well, for a certain value of understandable I suppose, and while you do have to pay attention it is so well written that it isn’t a slog to get through....Continua