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Last Train to Istanbul MP3 CD – Unabridged, December 16, 2014
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About the Author
One of Turkey’s bestselling and most beloved authors, with more than ten million copies of her books sold, Ayşe Kulin is known for captivating stories about human endurance. In addition to penning internationally bestselling novels, she has also worked as a producer, cinematographer, and screenwriter for numerous television shows and films. A mother to four sons, she lives in Istanbul. Last Train to Istanbul, winner of the European Council Jewish Community Best Novel Award and the Premio Roma in Italy, has been translated into twenty-three languages.
About the Translator
John W. Baker spent his formative years living in Istanbul due to his father’s posting, and was educated at the English High School for Boys there. Following in his father’s footsteps, he had a career with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London until he took early retirement to live in Turkey again. He is honored to have been the first British writer to have written a play in Turkish, Ihtiras (Passion), which was produced in 2003 by Gencay Gurun and was voted one of the best five new plays that year. The success of Ihtiras led to favorable publicity resulting in Baker being asked by Ayşe Kulin to translate two of her novels, Last Train to Istanbul (Nefes nefese) and Face to Face (Bir gun).
Other translations followed, including Theodora by Radi Dikici, about the Byzantine empress, and most recently, Unfulfilled Promises by Leyla Yildirim, a love story set during the Battle of Gallipoli.
Baker returned to live in England in 2010 and is now happy to be back living in London again and doing the occasional translation.
- Publisher : Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (December 16, 2014)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1491575948
- ISBN-13 : 978-1491575949
- Item Weight : 3.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 6.5 x 0.63 x 5.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,189,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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The story is very captivating and educational. It's great to read and learn about the WW II experience and actions of a country other than England, France, Germany, and the US. Turkey deserves a great deal of admiration for its efforts to protect its citizens regardless of religious beliefs. It's to be hoped that this book will inspire the country to remain true to its commitment to its citizens of all faiths -- something that can't be taken for granted today.
As to the story, it's principally about 2 sisters who took different paths in life - one with a traditionally-accepted marriage with social prestige and the other who chose a Jewish man and was disowned by her family. The one with the traditional marriage suffers from the guilt borne of her own jealousy of her younger and taller sister - despite her own celebrated beauty. Her deep seated guilt turned her into a cold wife and mother. With the help of a psychiatrist - who actually fell in live with her - she may be able to rise out of that long unacknowledged jealousy and guilt and save her own motherhood and marriage. The other sister is somewhat opaque from the psychological angle. She is intelligent, strong-willed, and compassionate - something of a superwoman. She moved with her husband to France hoping to establish a life far from ostracism of the families but instead found herself in occupied France, where the noose of danger was tightening around Jews of all nationalities living in France. Her struggle is not a psychological one like her sister's but the real and physical danger and degradation based on her husband's faith.
And the dialogue... Why are people in 1942 Turkey saying things like "What's up?" And "what the hell?"
It's like reading text messages. Not at all believable the way these characters talk.
The story is good and keeps the pages turning, even if the writing style is annoying.
The plot is very clever and interwoven in this fiction story are some interesting not very well known factual historical events. The book also tells the true story of a brave group of Turkish diplomats who save a large group of innocent people, many of whom are Turkish citizens of Jewish descent, from the Nazi occupation.
As the story develops very interesting characters are introduced, each with their own story. Slowly their individual futures are interwoven in the plot but all of them have one thing in common - their lives are in danger. Their individual plights become one after they board the last train to Istanbul.
This is a beautiful tale of human courage, survival and endurance, set against a background of war and despair while demonstrating a spirit of compassion and hope.
Overall the story is well researched but the writing flow takes a bit of getting used to in the beginning. It felt a bit unnatural however this might be due to the effects of its translation from Turkish; perhaps because Turkish sentence structure differs from English.
Anyone who likes reading good historical fiction will enjoy this book.
Top reviews from other countries
The characters are well-developed and the story flows evenly and seamlessly between Turkey and France and back. I highly recommend it.
I learned nothing important about Turkey’s endeavours to get displaced citizens, who were in mortal danger, back from France to their homelands, other than a train journey.
Poor writing, poor characters and a feeble attempt at a war story.