Top positive review
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A delightful insight into Indian history.
on 2 July 2010
`City of Djinns' offers us a history of Delhi that gradually draws us back in time as the book progresses, interspersed with an account of the authors own time living there. There are beautiful watercolour illustrations throughout that were painted by the authors wife and which are reproduced in black and white. These really add an extra dimension to the book and I enjoyed coming across a new painting every ten pages or so. Dalrymple's descriptions really conjure up life in the Delhi of the past, as well as making you envisage modern day life based on his own events and experiences. You can almost taste, smell, see and hear the Delhi he so richly paints for us and some of the Islamic poetic phrases he stumbles across are at times simply breathtaking. Delhi is portrayed as a mix of Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and British in one bubbling pot, with the creativity and conflicts this diversity engenders. The friendships Dalrymple strikes up are a pleasure to read and add some humour and insight to the overall book. All in all, this was a delightful read that captures the essence of Delhi in just over 300 pages. It is easy to read and offers an accessible introduction to the various stages of Indian history from the perspective of one town. This is well worth checking out if your interest was piqued enough to have searched for this book or even if you have stumbled across the product page by accident.
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