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4.6 out of 5 stars
77
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 17 May 2017
I raced through this history of Delhi which is written as a travel book tale of one year in The city. It taught me a lot and is full of the cultural and spiritual intensity of the place. It is my fourth Dalrymple history book in a row, which probably accounts for my four stars rather than five - but I got a lot from the book and expect I will read it again map in hand to get deeper into this fascinating world.
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on 5 March 2016
I read this book a few years ago and am presently enjoying it over again!It is a very well written book with evocative descriptions of both Delhi and the Indian people.Somehow William Dalrymple brings it all alive his writing is entertaining and it is a book not easily put down as you want to see what is going to occur next! Very much recommended.
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on 18 August 2017
One of the best books i have read this year.Very interesting and informative about Delhi's history through the ages.I found it very hard to put down and could very easily sit down in the garden with a cup of tea and relax when i should be doing something else!
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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2006
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."
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on 19 March 2017
Bought to accompany a holiday in Delhi and Rajasthan. Book added extra depth
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on 6 July 2015
excellent! really opened my eyes to the history of Dehli and the various groups who inhabit the city are beautifully described.
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on 6 April 2017
Good buy. As advertised. Good value.
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on 14 May 2017
Brilliant, well researched & utterly fascinating.
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on 26 November 2015
Looking forward to reading it
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on 29 September 2015
No as exciting as I would have liked.
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