After reading his latest novel, I think he might be best compared to a futuristic Charles Dickens.
Diverse plot strands come together, past and future reflecting each other in an amazing book that easily matches McDonald's award winning Brasyl in ambition, scope and achievement. Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES This is a brilliant, jewelled machine of a novel in which lives triggers events in other lives, in a sequence that skirts chaos and disaster, but ends with gorgeous order.
Another epic, complex and intelligent offering from McDonald.
Fans of realistic, character-driven SF will love it, and anyone with a familiarity of Istanbul will get an extra kick out of the novel. See all Product description. Not Enabled. Customers who viewed this item also viewed.
River of Gods. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a customer review. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Verified Purchase. Having read and enjoyed Brasyl, our book club decided to read this novel by the same author. In The Dervish House, the descriptions of Istanbul were so real I could taste the tea the characters were drinking, hear the traffic they were hearing, and feel the heat they were feeling. The city came alive for me and that was a treat. Another strength of the novel was the writing in general.
What was a bit harder to follow was the enormous cast of characters and the intricate plot.
As I learned from reading Brasyl, one must pay attention from the very beginning. Each chapter is dedicated to one character's story, and for most of the book the stories do not interconnect so it might be fifty pages before you re-encounter one of the major characters. And they all have names that were difficult to remember, and to make matters worse, apparently in Turkey all men can be called "Bey.
I felt the book could have benefitted from a list of characters, so here's a short list for you: Necdet Hasguler - Is a recent arrival in Istanbul, living at Dervish House with his brother Ismet Shayk also called Dede. At the very beginning of the book, Necdet witnesses a woman blow herself up in an apparent terrorist attack on a bus.
Can Durukan - 9-year-old boy with a heart condition that could be triggered by loud noises - therefore he lives a tightly controlled life to isolate him from sound. He spends much of his time sending robot toys he has programmed out into the city and tracking their movements on his computer. Ayse Erkoc - Owns an antique store in the Dervish House.
Adnan Serioglu - A trader in gas futures, married to Ayse. Georgios Ferentinou - Greek, has lived in Istanbul his whole life. Leyla Gultasli - Young woman who recently graduated from college with a marketing degree. She is living in Dervish House and looking for a job.
Ultimately, I preferred Brasyl as I felt the plot was more interesting, but this was still a good read and our book club had a good discussion about it. Welcome to the world of The Dervish House ; the great, ancient, paradoxical city of Istanbul, divided like a human brain, in the great, ancient, equally paradoxical nation of Turkey.
The year is and Turkey is about to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its accession to the European Union; a Europe that now runs from the Arran Islands to Ararat. Population pushing one hundred million, Istanbul swollen to fifteen million; Turkey is the largest, most populous and most diverse nation in the EU, but also one of the poorest and most socially divided.
It's a boom economy, the sweatshop of Europe, the bazaar of central Asia, the key to the immense gas wealth of Russia and Central Asia. Gas is power. But it's power at a price, and that price is emissions permits.
This is the age of carbon consciousness: every individual in the EU has a card stipulating individual carbon allowance that must be produced at every CO2 generating transaction. For those who can master the game, who can make the trades between gas price and carbon trading permits, who can play the power factions against each other, there are fortunes to be made. The old Byzantine politics are back. They never went away. The ancient power struggled between Sunni and Shia threatens like a storm: Ankara has watched the Middle East emerge from twenty-five years of sectarian conflict.
So far it has stayed aloof.