City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy New

or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Good See details
Price: 1.89

or
 
   
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi [Paperback]

William Dalrymple
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 3.00 (30%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Usually dispatched within 11 to 13 days.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.50  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.99  
Audio, Cassette, Abridged, Audiobook --  
Amazon.co.uk Trade-In Store
Did you know you can use your mobile to trade in your unwanted books for an Amazon.co.uk Gift Card to spend on the things you want? Visit the Books Trade-In Store for more details or check out the Trade-In Amazon Mobile App Guidelines on how to trade in using a smartphone. Learn more.

Book Description

20 Sep 1999

‘Could you show me a djinn?’ I asked. ‘Certainly,’ replied the Sufi. ‘But you would run away.’

From the author of the Samuel Johnson prize shortlisted ‘The Return of a King’, this is William Dalrymple’s captivating memoir of a year spent in Delhi, a city watched over and protected by the mischievous invisible djinns. Lodging with the beady-eyed Mrs Puri and encountering an extraordinary array of characters – from elusive eunuchs to the last remnants of the Raj – William Dalrymple comes to know the bewildering city intimately.

He pursues Delhi’s interlacing layers of history along narrow alleys and broad boulevards, brilliantly conveying its intoxicating mix of mysticism and mayhem.

‘City of Djinns’ is an astonishing and sensitive portrait of a city, and confirms William Dalrymple as one of the most compelling explorers of India’s past and present.


Frequently Bought Together

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi + The Age of Kali: Travels and Encounters in India + Nine Lives: In Search of the Sacred in Modern India
Price For All Three: 20.97

Some of these items are dispatched sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Flamingo; New Ed edition (20 Sep 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006375952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006375951
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

‘Delightful … Surely one of the funniest books about India’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Scholarly and marvellously entertaining … a considerable feat’ Dervla Murphy, Spectator

‘Dalrymple has pulled it off again’ Jan Morris, Independent

From the Back Cover

Alive with the mayhem of the present and sparkling with William Dalrymple’s irrepressible wit, 'City of Djinns' is a fascinating portrait of a city.

Watched over and protected by the mischievous, invisible djinns, Delhi has, through their good offices, been saved from destruction many times over the centuries. With an extraordinary array of characters, from elusive eunuchs to the last remnants of the Raj, Dalrymple’s second book is a unique and dazzling feat of research. Over the course of a year he comes to know the bewildering city intimately, and brilliantly conveys its magical nature, peeling back successive layers of history, and interlacing innumerable stories from Delhi’s past and present.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
Mrs. Puri had achieved all this through a combination of hard work and good old-fashioned thrift. Read the first page
Explore More
Concordance
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Magical Read 14 Jun 2006
Format:Paperback
I am eternally grateful to Mr. Dalrymple for writing 'City Of Djinns' because it led me to view the city where I was born and where I now live in an entirely new light. I confess that despite spending ten of my sixteen years in Delhi I never went out of my way to find out its historical significance and my interaction with its monuments never progressed beyond a few cursory visits, acting as a (remarkably unqualified) guide to several NRI friends who were just as uncurious and complacent as I was.

It was only after reading this book for the first time about six months ago that I realized what I was missing out on, and since then I have made an attempt to set out and rediscover the city and its forgotten jewels. It amazes me how the author can see so much poetry in what appears to be a crumbling mass of ruins to the lay observer. Sometimes his description of the architectural features of a church or mosque or temple or tomb is a bit too erudite for me to fully comprehend, and then I have to look up the terms that he uses and agonize over photographs of that particular edifice, trying to see what all the fuss is about, but I think that's what really makes the book so delightful-there is a different and beautiful-sounding word for everything that is described.

The book, I thought, is very delicately structured, which is in keeping with the subject-Delhi, for all its bustle, lacks the cheery boldness of say, Mumbai, another great Indian city. There is a certain fragility about Delhi, which becomes more obvious as you venture into the Walled City, and it is exactly this elusive quality that Mr. Dalrymple has captured so beautifully in his book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Semeen Khan from Pakistan 22 Aug 2006
Format:Paperback
It seldom happens to me that I select one particular author and then want to read every book written by him; William Dalrymple is one such author. To me his works In Xanadu, From the Holy Mountain, City of Djinns a year in Delhi are not just historical adventures they are kleidoscopes of worlds within worlds.

Delhi is a city that i love and i love it for all the reasons given in City of Djinns. This book is a complete picture of a city ravaged and re built, destroyed and recreated but What makes Dalrymple's Delhi different is that it takes a human shape, a face you recognise.

All events past and present in City of Djjins are within the grasp of the reader. Dalrymple writes about the Persian Massacre, Indian Mutiny of 1857 and the bloody Partition of 1947 but never taking you too far from the present day rickshaw noises or the eunuchs inhabiting the mysterious inner streets of old Delhi so one is not weighed down by history rather mediating between the two worlds.

Dalrymple is profound, sensitive but above all witty. On the ever changing modern day Delhi I quote the author, "Delhi was starting to unbutton. After the long victorian twilight the sari was beginning to slip".
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delhi days 22 Oct 2006
Format:Paperback
William Dalrymple is probably the best travel writer of his generation, both in his ability to evoke a sense of time and place, and his skill for shedding light on history in an engaging and accessible way. In contrast to his first book, the brilliant 'In Xanadu', Dalrymple focuses less on

his own experiences and more on unpeeling the multiple and intriguing layers of Delhi's history. This is not to say he is an invisible presence in the book, but that his personal account acts more as an access point for historical discovery than a narrative in itself - Paul Theroux this is not. 'A Year in Delhi' finds Dalrymple digging deeper and deeper into Delhi's history throughout his trip, unravelling the various epochs of the city, from the British Raj to the roots of The Mahabharata. At once amusing and erudite, Dalrymple also has a gift for sketching the surreal characters he meets along the way, from Sufi mystics and taxi drivers to his eccentric landlady. This must be the definitive travel companion for a trip to this fascinating and ancient city.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 4 Jan 2007
Format:Paperback
It is hard for most people to pick out the highlights of one's life.....reading this book for me is surely one of them.

I have read this book several times now...each time I spot another gem.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By Jessi VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Dalrymple is a gifted writer with an ear for dialogue, a wry sense of humour, and an excellent command of Indian history. "City of Djinns" tells the story of Delhi, taking the reader back in time through the turbulent and bloodstained years of Partition, the paradox that was British imperial rule, the opulent splendour of the Mughal empire, and finally the ancient Indian civilisations that saw the birth of Hinduism in its earliest form. But this is no dry, fact-filled history textbook - it is spiced up with lively anecdotes from William and Olivia Dalrymple's (mis)adventures in Delhi (incorporating an inebriated taxi driver, a wheelchair-bound Sikh who is determined to make Olivia his wife, and a 'Muslim wedding in a Hindu ambulance') and also includes personal testimonies from a variety of colourful characters.
A very elderly Englishwoman, relic of the Raj, now shares a tin hut with a cobra and a posse of peacocks. ("I do hate waking up in the middle of the night to find a peacock in bed with me.") An astute Muslim scholar devotes himself to prayer and study, educating Dalrymple in the ways of Islam. An Indian gardener invents an Urdu-esque English dialect (flowerpots become fell-i-puts and hollyhocks are holi-ul-haqs) and the whole team is overseen by 'the Essex Man of the East', Balvinder Singh. His taxi always at your service.
At once humorous and poignant, "City of Djinns" is a testimony to a lifestyle that has now vanished for good. It made me wish I had been born thirty years earlier so I could have snatched a glimpse of it before it perished. In the words of one of Dalrymple's Anglo-Indian interviewees: "...in the end you can only go away and die in Cheltenham. And that,' Iris said with a sigh, 'is exactly what we did."
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written to immerse yourself in Dehi Culture
Prescribed reading if you are indending to travel to Rajashtan. Gives you real insite into British Raj and also details greater times in the past. Read more
Published 2 months ago by P J Ross
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic travel literature account
I love reading travel literature but for some reason have never read anything by Dalrymple before. This is a fantastic introduction to his travel writing and I am enjoying it so... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Leza H
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than going there!
William Dalrymple has such a good life and it's nice of him to share it with us. The combination of travel, history, politics and feasting all make for a good read. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Somerset
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This is an excellent book. Extremely readable and full of amusing anecdotes. It balances both the more serious and the lighthearted perfectly. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kimdli
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
A great book about the history of India as told by a British man who resides in the city for a year. Read more
Published 11 months ago by ChristophFischerBooks
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read
I started reading this book just before I went on holiday to India, with Delhi being the first place I visited. I finished it on the plane home and absolutely loved it. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Christie
4.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and essential if you are going to or have been to Delhi
I visited Delhi (and other parts of India) for the first time in January 2013. I was told about William and his various books and decided to give this one a go, seeing as I would... Read more
Published 13 months ago by A. Macdonald
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended read if travelling to or returning back from Delhi
Great book with fascinating insight into the city of Delhi. Need to go back and explore all these other aspects.
Published 13 months ago by JH
5.0 out of 5 stars city of Dijins: A Year in Delhi
William Dalrymple is synonimous to unstoppable reading, increasing researched detail and history at its best. His writing on India is fascinating.
Published 15 months ago by Maria Teresa Canelhas
1.0 out of 5 stars font size was too small
I couldn't read it: the font size was too small. That's why it seemed a little boring? Buy yourself a e-book
Published 16 months ago by Andrea Paolo Ferraresi
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews
ARRAY(0xaccaa18c)

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback