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Harem [Hardcover]

Colin Falconer

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Paperback CDN $18.74  

Book Description

January 1993
Set in the 16th-century Ottoman Empire, this novel follows the fortunes of several disparate characters whose destinies gradually weave together.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; 1st Edition edition (January 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340564067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340564066
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 739 g

Product Description

About the Author

"I was 18 years old, I'd just left school and got a job in London, working in an insurance company. I was working inside - in an office! My mother thought that was like being CEO of Shell Oil. "I was late one morning, I took a short cut through the church yard to the station to catch my train. I'd just finished reading The Sun Also Rises the night before; and here I was looking at all these gravestones, I remember thinking: Gee, we're not here very long. Better make it count. "So I went home, told my mother I was quitting my job and going to Morocco. She damned near fainted." After travelling through Spain and Africa, Colin hitch-hiked across Europe to Sweden to visit a girlfriend he'd met the year before on a football tour. When he finally got back home, he was still restless. After failing to make the grade as a professional football player, he travelled around Asia; his experiences in Bangkok and India later inspired his thriller VENOM, and his adventures in the jungles of the Golden Triangle of Burma and Laos were also filed away for later, the basis of his OPIUM series about the underworld drug trade. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  103 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written and interesting historical fiction. May 5 2012
By Bob Jarvis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very entertained by the wonderful descriptions of Constantinople in general and the insides of the various palaces of the Sultan in particular. The desperate moods and indolent lifestyles of the harem women is also compellingly presented. I found no problem with the historical settings and main events.
Characters are well drawn and multi-faceted, from the loathsome, conniving and cruel Hurrem, and Suleiman the Great, shown here as a weak, petulant and pathetic figure, that stretches the imagination somewhat given his significaant actual lifetime acheivements. These two are nicely counter-balanced by the Sultan's mother, the Valide, who's loyalty and nobility are certainly a breath of fresh air in the Topkapi palace. The noble-hearted Abbas is also an inspirational yet luckless figure. I was less impressed by the simpering, fearful, heroine Julia and hope she finds some much needed courage in the sequel. Be that as it may, one does become very satisfactorily interested and involved in the outcome of each and every one.
The book is essentially dedicated to the main individuals' trials, tribulations and in many cases, sufferings but I did feel the absence of a significant, major, overall plot was a disappointment. The Ottoman Empire sort of goes on as a side-show to the juicy palace internal intrigues.
Disappointed by a number of mis-spellings that really should have been proof-read out at whatever level of publishing this book went through. What do you mean "She was weary nothing"?
Will certainly give The Seraglio a spin.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Harem Oct. 5 2000
By Hilary - Published on Amazon.com
I first read this book on my honeymoon 6 years ago. I purchased it in the bookstore in my hotel. Much to my husband's dismay, I could not put it down! It was an absolutely fascinating tale of life in Istanbul in the Harem owned by the Sultan. By combining fiction with historical facts, Mr. Falconer weaves a tale so intriguing, it was impossible to put down. I also must commend Amazon who found this for me again after I had given my original copy to someone and never received it back. It took almost two years, but they got it for me. I was thrilled! If anyone is ever able to get a copy of this hard-to-find book, it is a must read!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Speculative History Jan. 27 2003
By "azmi21" - Published on Amazon.com
Colin weaves a vivid tapestry of the medieval turkish world. This story is an engaging story of a female slave using her wits and charms to survive and ultimately win the right as the Sultan's consort. Her mastery of political deception is diabolocal and her revenge sweet. Her son takes the throne but it was not of the Sultan's blood - thus ensuring the fall of the Ottoman Empire. This was all Colin's speculation, but who knows the truth may not be so removed from this afterall.
Great & Wonderful.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Really dull ending. Feb. 19 2013
By M. M. Akers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Started out pretty interesting, but then jumps around too much. Loses steam in the middle and just barely makes it to a less than satisfying conclusion.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book on a Difficult Topic Feb. 20 2012
By kittykatty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It is difficult to find a book about life in harems with a bent for both entertainment and for historical accuracy. Because of the utterly secretive nature of the harem, it is impossible for th inner dramas of the harem to be anything but fiction. Even so care is taken to make it as realistic as possible and historical information is slathered in whenever possible. And the outer overarching events are historically accurate.

I must admit that as seperate pieces I found both the fictional and historical aspects lacking. A lot of the historical information comes suddenly and without adequate explanation. And the fictional part is rather unfulfilling. One must accept a sad story but I expected better resolution. There are also typos in the book. Not so many as to really be a detriment to me, but an unusually large amount. That said I did enjoy certain parts so much it nearly made up for it.

My interest in this topic really elevated this book for me. If you are thinking of reading this with no real special interest in the harem and all that goes with it I would advise you skip this book. If you share my interest then you will enjoy this book very much. There isnt that much else like this out there. And curently this book costs less that three dollars on my kindle and was worth more than that to me.

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