Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully moody, mesmerizing, and full of interesting detail about Ottoman Istanbul, 15 April 2011
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This review is from: The Snake Stone (Yashim the Ottoman Detective) (Hardcover)
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 The Snake Stone. This is a beautifully written novel full of incredible historical detail, which paints a city of a hundred nationalities existing side by side in a mesmerizing kaleidoscope. My only criticism would be that it tries to be Da Vinci Code towards the end and this subtracts from the charm of The Snake Stone.

The Snake Stone is similar to its predecessor, The Janissary Tree, in many ways but has a better story and is more readable. However, the annoying misspellings and creative use of the Turkish language is still there: Hippodrome is "Atmeydan" on pg 23 but then becomes "Atmeidan" on pg 25, although the correct spelling would be "At meydani". "Aya Sofya" (Turkish spelling) is used a few times but then turns into "Aya Sofia" which must be the editor's personal understanding of the correct English spelling of "Hagia Sophia". One of Istanbul's districts is called "Beyazit", not "Bayezit". "Water" is "su" in Turkish and not "sou", so "water inspector" is "su naziri" and not "sou naziry", while "the inspector" would be "the nazir" and not "the naziry" as that last letter (which should have been 'i') means "of" as in "inspector of water". Even the French phrases could use editing: "Ils me connaissent", not "Ils me connaient" like on pg 46.

It seems to me that Jason Goodwin needs a new editor or at least a friendly reader to take a look at the final copy of his books before publishing. I humbly offer my services :-)
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