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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That was different!
I have no knowledge of this period in history, and I don't know how much of the story is based on fact, and how much from imagination, but this book was certainly an eye opener. All the strange new words and unusual names added to the general air of foreign intrigue. The violence is appalling, but it is reported without sentimentality. It simply is. At first Hurrem is...
Published on 22 April 2013 by Amazon Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
Good to past a afternoon with short on historical ambience having been to topkapi harem it does not evoke the claustrophobia
Published on 10 Mar. 2013 by edithrowley


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars That was different!, 22 April 2013
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I have no knowledge of this period in history, and I don't know how much of the story is based on fact, and how much from imagination, but this book was certainly an eye opener. All the strange new words and unusual names added to the general air of foreign intrigue. The violence is appalling, but it is reported without sentimentality. It simply is. At first Hurrem is the victim and you want her to succeed in her plan ... then she becomes the villain, and you long for her demise. Suleyman is brave and admirable but then he is weak and despicable. The Gedicli girl Muomi gives an unsentimental account of her horrific abuse prior to slavery, and Abbas endures the living hell of a man castrated as an adult for loving above his station. I was enthralled by this strange, violent world where the Sultan is revered as a god, and the woman who bears the next Sultan can expect similar glory, even though she began her journey as a slave. No wonder Hurrem harbours a deadly ambition...
Two criticisms however - firstly, the number of typos, that could easily have been avoided by good proof reading, and secondly, when the book ended, I felt like my video recorder had missed the end of the programme. It just stopped. It was as if the author had been contracted to write a certain number of words, and he had just reached them. Even if there is to be a sequel, a better crafted ending would have been appreciated, with some hint of resolution or of what was to follow.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 19 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Harem (Paperback)
A brilliant book, quite different from many historical novels. The characters are fascinating, cruel and awash with various human frailties. The descriptions of life in the harem are glorious, detailing petty strifes and deadly intrigues. Not a novel for the faint-hearted however - anyone expecting details of beautiful girls in satin-edged luxury will be disappointed, this is a book full of real characters struggling for survival in a difficult time, using any means they can. Un-putdownable.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking insight into a mystical world, 15 May 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Harem (Paperback)
Magnificent!! This is definitely one of the most awesome books I have read in ages. Colin Falconer describes in sophisticated and elaborate detail the way of life during the Ottoman reign. The principal characters of the novel comes to life through the brilliant narrative and as a reader you truly feel their passion and angst. I especially enjoyed the manipulative and callous presence that Hurrem brought to the novel. The author's insight into life within the confined walls of the Harem and the Sultan's palace is an eye-opener. You'll never want this book to end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great and worth every penny, 13 Jun. 2014
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Excellent book, I could not put the book down. If kept me awake all night and could only sleep when I could not open my eyes. I would highly recommend it!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read, 10 Mar. 2013
Good to past a afternoon with short on historical ambience having been to topkapi harem it does not evoke the claustrophobia
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5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, 6 Mar. 2013
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If you enjoy a well written book with an interesting subject then look no further. First book I have read by this author, will NOT be my last.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Harem, 13 Jan. 2013
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This is a brilliant story, I know Istanbul very well and am now looking forward reading the sequel as soon as possible
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1.0 out of 5 stars very poor, 30 Dec. 2012
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the content was very poor a bit infantile wouldn't recommend it at all, i couldn't be bothered to finish it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Harem, 19 Sept. 2012
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The Kindle edition of Harem that I got ended half way through the book version - for some reason! Was trying to put favourite books onto my Kindle to save space and weight, and Harem is a book I can happily read more than once, it is extremely good. But get the book, readers!
I also liked the characters, as there was a refreshing lack of over analysis and explanation - they are as they are, good, bad, a mix of the two - and the author accepts that. They don't come across as modern people stuck in the distant past, as Ken Follet's characters sometimes do.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ottoman Intrigue, 23 Dec. 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Harem (Hardcover)
Harem was one of the best historical novels I have ever read. It vividly describes the life, the intrigue, the sensuality and the violence in Suleyman the Magnificent's harem. The imprisonment of enslaved concubines held within the confines of the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. It follows the dangerous rise of Hurrem to become the wife of Suleyman. I lived in this book and did not want it to end. Imagine my absolute delight, during a visit to Istanbul, in finding the mausoleum outside the grounds of the Suleymaniye Mosque dedicated to Hasseki Hurrem, Suleyman's queen.
Colin Falconer writes the most incredibly interesting books on all sorts of political and controversial topics. They are set in various parts of the world and it saddens me that they are not more publicised.
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Harem
Harem by Colin Falconer (Hardcover - 6 Aug. 1992)
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