Monday, November 24, 2014

110:120 The Dervish House by Ian McDonald

Set in Turkey in 2027, just before the 5th Anniversary of the day Turkey joined the European Union.  The day started out like any other.  People trying to find jobs, working, living their lives.  Then the bomb explodes and several of those lives are thrown for a loop.  In this story we follow the lives of the boy who has a heart condition that could kill him if he is startled, an old man who was once part of the political background being brought out of retirement, the antiques dealer who has had an enticing mystery dangled in front her, the commodities trader that has a plan to strike it big, the boy on the bus who has started seeing visions since the experience, and the girl who was on her way to a job interview and made impossibly late by the explosion and is now trying to get by.  All at once their lives are intertwined in ways they are not even aware of but ways that will have longer reaching consequences then they could ever imagine.

This was a book club book and not one that I'd ever heard of or had anywhere on my radar.  The premise sounded interesting enough so I plunged in.  It took me a while to get into the story.  I found it frustrating that just as I was finally immersed in a character's story and getting used to their 'voice' we would change characters to follow and I'd be thrown for a loop again.  I think it took me almost half-way through the book before I was able to hear each character's 'voice' clearly enough in my head to be able to transition fairly smoothly although it always seemed too short a period with each character for me.  However, once I was able to find the time to really sit down with it I found it hard to put it down.  The world was so rich and complex and the characters so intriguing I wanted to know where it was all leading.  I have to say that I would be very happy to read more by Mr. McDonald if they are of the same caliber as this.

Page count: 480p/30,750p ytd/211,788p lifetime

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