Having made my way through half of this book already, I am still undecided as to whether to read the rest. I really cannot believe that this book won the International Man Booker prize, its language and evocation of characters in their time and place is simplistic to the point of being trite. The novel is extremely superficial and I loathe the way it falls back on worn out stereotypes of the period. It is also frankly boring - which is quite an achievement given it is about a siege.
I came to this book immediately after reading David Mitchell's 'The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet', and the difference was like stepping from a Bentley into a clapped out old Lada. ThThe Siege
is book is undeserving of the praise it has recieved, and there are moments where the translation also seems awkward and crude. Its a minor point, but it also really irritates me that the translator has chosen to use 'xh' to represent the Turkish 'j' sound (although represented as a 'c' in modern Turkish). This is completely innacurate, and Turkish is NEVER translated using 'xh' as a) Turkish is in the latin alphabet already and doesnt' require using this device, and b) 'x' does not appear in Turkish either as a sound, or as a letter. I am giving this book 2* not 1* because it does actually bother to use Turkish terminology.
Having read lots of books bought off Amazon, this is one of the few I have bothered to write a review about as I hope it will put people off wasting their money on it. For those that do, caveat emptor!