Kelly's Reviews > Salonica, City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430-1950

Salonica, City of Ghosts by Mark Mazower
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Jul 15, 09

bookshelves: to-read

Yes yes yes yes, this sounds right up my alley, I must read this!
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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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DoctorM I'm re-reading this... It is a delight.


message 2: by Kelly (new) - added it

Kelly The guy who wrote this teaches at my school. It might be just colorful painting history (as some kids in my program suggested), but I love that sort, so whatever. I hope to get to it soon.


DoctorM It's evocative more than academic, but that's its great power: bringing a lost city to life.


Kelly wrote: "The guy who wrote this teaches at my school. It might be just colorful painting history (as some kids in my program suggested), but I love that sort, so whatever. I hope to get to it soon."


message 4: by Kelly (new) - added it

Kelly Exactly! That's the purpose of the work. Simon Schama is also good at this- making banquets and battles and men come alive. But I think that is so valuable- you have to think of people and places the way they make them seem- three dimensional and breathing. Totally agree.


DoctorM Schama is very good at it. I like him a lot.


message 6: by Elijah (new)

Elijah Kinch Spector Holy crap this looks great. Makes me want to read it and then write fiction in its setting.


message 7: by Kelly (last edited Jul 14, 2011 10:52AM) (new) - added it

Kelly Doesn't it? It's such an incredibly rich place/era.


DoctorM Late-Ottoman Salonika completely intrigues me.


Kelly wrote: "Doesn't it? It's such an incredibly rich place/era."


message 9: by Szplug (last edited Jun 08, 2012 09:49PM) (new)

Szplug I just picked this up tonight. I've liked the one Mazower book I read previously—The Balkans it was, and very good though very brief—and I've always intended to read his well-regarded look at the German occupation of Greece in the Second World War. This one punches all of my buttons, though: Ottoman Turks, Jewish pockets, Byzantine structures and legal remnants, the curious Greek admixture that evolved through the Middle Ages, and, topping it all, Albanian bandits. Yee-Haw!


message 10: by Kelly (last edited Jun 09, 2012 04:26AM) (new) - added it

Kelly Oh, I'm excited to see what you think of it! He does some cool work, but this one looks like its the best of all. (Though if you have any interest in the UN, I recommend No Enchanted Palace as well.)


message 11: by Szplug (last edited Jun 09, 2012 10:43AM) (new)

Szplug Thanks for the pointer to Mazower's UN book, Kelly. Definitely an organization about which I know far too little.

Perhaps this time I'll even come through. I become excited myself when I get something new and discover that other GR people whose opinions I value thought highly of, or eagerly anticipate the reading of, that particular book. The thing is, by the time I've finished whatever material I'm currently in the midst of, that initial enthusiasm is almost invariably replaced, either by something I've purchased more recently or by a sudden veering in the direction of my reading interests. I mean, I'm still trying to understand why—in the face of laudatory reviews all around—I cannot seem to make that commitment to Margaret Yourcenar or Reza Aslan.


message 12: by Kelly (new) - added it

Kelly I totally understand what you mean. As with all relationships, with the books its all about timing. I wish I could shake that feeling of commitment to my current reading to move on to the other book that looked cool even if I haven't finished, but I usually feel guilty for doing that (unless we're dealing with Twilight levels of horrible). Do you get that feeling as well?

I cannot recommend enough that you do get to the Yourcenar, though. Usually I wouldn't want to reinforce the recommendation with hyped up cheerleading lest you be disappointed and learn to despise my recommendations forevermore, but that is one book I have absolute faith will live up to the hype no matter how many hyperbolic verbal firework displays I hold in its honor.


message 13: by Szplug (last edited Jun 10, 2012 11:02AM) (new)

Szplug Do you get that feeling as well?

All the time. It used to be that I simply could not take on something new without having finished the book I was currently in the midst of; now I can actually abandon or set aside what I am reading in order to begin something more immediately appealing. But it's always a struggle, always imposes a burden of Reader's Guilt upon me that, more often than not, leads me to reverse my apostasy and return to the original. Goodreads has helped me to become comparatively more ruthless, but the fact of the matter is that I'm pretty loyal to a book once I've made that commitment. It's bizarre, isn't it? Almost like the book had feelings and deserved better from you.

As for Memoirs of Hadrian, I've been particularly impressed by your steady faith in its superlative quality, and you've yet to steer me wrong. June is our craziest month at work, but as soon as things have settled down, I will definitely make sure to fit it into the rotation.


message 14: by Kelly (new) - added it

Kelly a burden of Reader's Guilt upon me that, more often than not, leads me to reverse my apostasy and return to the original.... I'm pretty loyal to a book once I've made that commitment. It's bizarre, isn't it? Almost like the book had feelings and deserved better from you.

Totally! I do that all the time. I have to go through this whole thing where I justify myself to the book if I quit it. One of the reasons it really has to offend me, repeatedly, with its quality for it to be okay to abandon it. If its not going to make the effort, then neither am I! But if I feel like it's trying, it is difficult.

Let me know when/if you get to the Yourcenar!


message 15: by Travelin (new) - added it

Travelin This seems to be one of those books you can safely just dip into whenever you're in the mood, since the history dictates wildly compartmentalized chapters.


message 16: by Kelly (new) - added it

Kelly Thanks, that's good to know. It has been on my to-read list for a long time and knowing that makes it easier to envision taking it on, even with all my other book projects.


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