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The Snake Stone (unabridged audio book) [Audiobook, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Jason Goodwin , narrated by Daniel Philpott
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.41
Price: 15.87 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Kindle Edition 4.19  
Hardcover 10.00  
Paperback 6.39  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 10.97  
Audio, CD, Audiobook, Unabridged 15.87  

Book Description

8 Jan 2008
Istanbul 1838. Lefevre, a French archaeologist, has arrived in Istanbul determined to uncover a lost Byzantine treasure. Yashim is hired to investigate him, but when the man turns up dead, there is only one suspect: Yashim himself. Once again, the investigator finds himself in a race against time to uncover the startling truth behind a shadowy secret society dedicated to the revival of the Byzantine Empire, caught in a deadly game deep beneath the city streets, a place where the stakes are high - and betrayal is death...

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 9 pages
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audio Books; Unabridged audio book. edition (8 Jan 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1407424408
  • ISBN-13: 978-1407424408
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 13.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,433,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jason Goodwin writes the best-selling Yashim detective series set in 1830s Istanbul. The fifth in the series, The Baklava Club, is out in June.
'When you read a historical mystery by Jason Goodwin,' writes Marylin Stasio in The New York Times Book Review, 'you take a magic carpet ride to the most exotic place on earth.'
The Janissary Tree won the EdgarAllen Poe Award for Best Novel in 2007, and the series has appeared in over 40 languages. 
He's written award-winning books of travel and history, including Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire. Time Out called it 'perhaps the most readable history ever written on anything.'

Jason's love-affair with Turkey was kindled in 1990 when he and Kate, his partner, walked 2000 miles across eastern Europe, from Gdansk to Istanbul. The award-winning 'On Foot to the Golden Horn' tells the story of that journey in a year of change, and it's available on Kindle.

Also on Kindle, The Gunpowder Gardens: Travels through India and China in Search of Tea tells the story of Jason's journey across the world of tea, its trade and history.

He lives in Dorset, on the south coast of England, with Kate and their four children.

Product Description


'Everything you could want from a novel - a cracking story, beautifully written, with a wonderfully seductive and original detective in the figure of Yashim the Eunuch.' --Kate Mosse, author of Labyrinth

Makes a perfect summer read. --The Sunday Times

It's a spicy yarn - and an irresistible one. --The Financial Times

Book Description

The sequel to Jason Goodwin's thrilling and acclaimed historical novel The Janissary Tree.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Eunuch with balls ! 1 Aug 2007
This is the second in the series of novels featuring the eunuch Yashmin - the first being the equally good introduction "The Jannissary Tree". Set in the mid 1800's in Turkey at the height of the Ottaman Empire this is a detective novel with a slight quirky nature. Anyone who likes Boris Akunin will, I am sure, take just as kindly to this hero as they have done to Erast Fandorin or Sister Pelugia. Jason Goodwin carefully weaves colourful portraits of Istanbul, life within a Sultans palace, political intrigue and historical drama into the storyline (as well as some good cooking tips!) and, as with all good detective novels, the ending has a surprise or two in store. A very enjoyable book and one I thoroughly recommend.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crime Writing with an Exotic Flourish 19 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
'The Snake Stone' is the second novel featuring Yashim the Eunuch, one of recent crime fiction's more interesting creations. Set in Istanbul against a backdrop of a crumbling Ottoman empire, Goodwin's novels are both tightly plotted and full of sumptuous description.

Yashim finds himself, an anachronism in a rapidly modernising city. With the Sultan on his deathbed, he is unsure of his continuing role and as a eunuch, is uncomfortable with his asexual persona. This makes Yashim both engaging and vulnerable, without the author having to resort to alcohol abuse and divorce; a welcome respite from two of crime fiction's most overused clichés.

Goodwin's writing is descriptive yet easy to read, his portrayal of Istanbul is rich and varied; you can almost smell the city. You can certainly taste Yashim's wonderful culinary concoctions; food and taste are at the heart of any culture, which is why many a foreign detective is a whizz in the kitchen; Yashim's tasty meals add authenticity to the author's excellent depiction of the city.

Some other reviews complain about historical inaccuracies and I confess to not having a enough knowledge to support or refute these claims. I would however, suggest that it probably doesn't matter, this is a work of fiction after all. Goodwin's novels ooze authenticity and his characters are well rounded and entertaining, in particular the brandy-loving Polish ambassador.

The plot of 'The Snake Stone', is exciting and believable, although I did feel that everything fell into place a little too conveniently. There is also a nice little sting in the final paragraphs, which I certainly didn't see coming. I have thoroughly enjoyed the two Yashim novels that I have read so far; they were both high quality crime-writing with an exotic garnish; I look forward to the next instalment.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Turkish impotentate returns! 15 Dec 2007
By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Jason Goodwin's second book "The Snake Stone" sees the return of the Turkish, crime-solving eunuch Yashim Togalu. I'm pleased to report that Goodwin's second book was as fun to read as his first, The Janissary Tree: A Novel".

As befits a mystery set in Istanbul the plot of "The Snake Stone" is moderately Byzantine but not so complex that the reader gets lost. Yashim is approached by a French archeologist (of the plundering sort) who tells Yashim a story about some priceless antiquities. Shortly thereafter the man is found dead and since Yashim is the last man to see him alive he finds himself faced with the prospect of being a suspect in the murder. Yashim has no choice but to try to unravel the mystery.

Two aspects of the book deserve special praise. As noted, the plot revolves around the possible discovery of priceless antiquities and this is a perfect device for a book set in a city such as Istanbul one of the world's historic cross-roads. The plot gives Goodwin a great opportunity to `explore' Istanbul's rich and diverse history both archeologically and socially. Goodwin studied Byzantine history at Cambridge and has written books on the history of the Ottoman Empire (Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire and his writing evidences that knowledge. Goodwin puts his knowledge to good use as he paints a very readable picture of Istanbul that captures (for me at least) the sights, sounds, and smells of Istanbul's streets and alleys while also conveying a sense of the political and social backdrop that drove the characters in the book. Anytime a writer gives you the sense that you can almost get a visceral feel for the sights and sounds of a city that writer has done a good job.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Journey to Ottoman Istanbul... 20 Jan 2008
Our favourite eunuch makes his next outing in declining Istanbul. This time it's a secret Hellanistic cult that needs thwarting. It's more of the same as the last book, intriguing mystery, another beautiful woman that causes emotional turmoil, various culinary experiences and another slightly fudged ending and all is well at the end. Of course the storyline is hardly paramount in the book, one reads this for the journey through Ottoman Istanbul, the experience the smells and sights and to learn its history. The atmosphere and background is beautifully described, one can really get the sense of the authors historical expertise coming in to play. The plot fades from memory almost instantly on completion, but the sense of old Istanbul lingers in the memory long after the books completion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think the other two reviewers have covered the book pretty well. Exotic and well written historical mystery, set in mid-nineteenth century Istanbul. Unfortunately, unlike quite a few historical novels, this one doesn't have a map of the city. So if you're unfamiliar with Istanbul, you'll be left floundering. The same applies for the lack of end notes in regards to the cuisine, clothing and factual events. There is a presumption of prior knowledge which I found quite irritating. Otherwise excellent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
a good read
Published 5 days ago by sukismum
4.0 out of 5 stars Best to start with the series in the right order
Best to start with the series in the right order. The knowledge of years of study is passed on as a pleasant background very appropriate for the actual action of the story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Norman Longdon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent fun
I enjoyed this book enormously. Didn't know a eunuch could do that!!
Published 1 month ago by Stella
5.0 out of 5 stars the city is the biggest star in this book
For anyone who loves Istanbul, this book is a must. It is a cracking mystery story, with fascinating characters, especially Yashim the eunuch, who is an irresistible and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by tangerina
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 stars - A bit confusing but with excellent suspense and a great...
First Sentence: The voice was low and rough and it came from behind as dusk fell.

I love Goodwin's strong sense of place. Read more
Published 21 months ago by L. J. Roberts
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
His first book the Janissary Tree was so good I was looking forward to reading this one. The plot was interesting but it got so bogged down with Greek history my mind glazed over... Read more
Published on 19 Jan 2012 by J. Dixon
2.0 out of 5 stars A slight improvement on The Janissary Tree
I read the first book in the series, The Janissary Tree last year, and was very disappointed with it. The murder/mystery aspect of the book seemed to be rather superficial. Read more
Published on 5 Oct 2011 by Tigger
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully moody, mesmerizing, and full of interesting detail about...
As a Turk who has lived in Istanbul for many years, I am perhaps one of the harder readers to please for a foreign author writing about Ottoman Istanbul, but I thoroughly enjoyed... Read more
Published on 15 April 2011 by Z de MC
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice and exotic
I am not a great fan of detective stories but combined with an exotic environment like Ottoman Istambul made the story quite enjoyable. Read more
Published on 14 Jun 2010 by Kaila Kaarle
3.0 out of 5 stars badly abridged [audio CD]
having listened to, & enjoyed, the other 2 books in the Yashim series, this one, for me, lacked the depth of description & atmosphere that mark the other 2 books out and made them... Read more
Published on 8 Sep 2009 by Amazon Customer
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