Last Train to Istanbul
As the daughter of one of Turkey’s last Ottoman pashas, Selva could win the heart of any man in Ankara. Yet the spirited young beauty only has eyes for Rafael Alfandari, the handsome Jewish son of an esteemed court physician. In defiance of their families, they marry, fleeing to Paris to build a new life.
It also took me long because, well, it's a very interesting story, but I must also say, it's not very well written. Or maybe it's a matter of translation? I can't read Turkish, so I'll never find out. I must say, though, that the editor - who is thanked in the final pages of the book - really didn't do a good job, there are so many tiny mistakes in language that got to me very much, in a 460-page book. Maybe I'm ...more
Istandbul, Ankara, Paris 1941. "Spring arrived hand-in-hand with sorrow." Turkey was between a rock and a hard place. Britain demanded them to become an ally; Germany was threatening; Russia wanted Kars, Ardahan, the Bosphorus, and the Dardanelles. Choosing the losing side would have had dire consequences for Turkey. They learnt their lesson well after the first world war.
It was not only a uns ...more
the more you progress into the story the more you get emotionally attached, at the second half of the book I simply felt I was one of the passengers on the train...
If you're interested to know how the Germans treated Jews at the WW2 period or if you are interested in Turkish literature this book if for you.
Last Train to Istanbul by Ayşe Kulin takes place prior to and during the first two years of WWII. It is a very informative historical fiction relating the empathy of Turkey to the Jews in this very dark period of history and before. In this story, we learn that Turkey took in Spanish Jews during the Inquisition after Ferdinand had thrown them out. This book centers on how Turkey aided Turkish and non-Turkish ...more
“Think carefully. We only have one life to live. We alone are responsible for it.”
The main theme of this book is amazing and heart-breaking but I just couldn't stand most of the characters and thought that Kulin portrayed them a bit too psychologically dramatic for my understandings. The writing, or it was maybe the Serbian translation of it, left me feeling uneasy and awkward at times. I just think that this book is probably just not my cup of tea. It would probably make a good mov ...more
“Last Train to Istanbul” is a phenomenal WWII novel set in Turkey and France, with one of the elements being a love story, and another being clandestine extractions of Jews via the Turkish government and foreign ministers aided by private citizens, from certain imprisonment/annihilation carried out by the Vichy as orde ...more
I would like to see Kulin address the Armenian holocaust perpetrated by Turks, but then she might ask why I haven’t addressed the U.S. ...more
I really liked the subject of the novel. But this fact alone was not enough for me to give more than 1.75 stars. I have several reasons for my decision:
1. The translation. I haven't read a book with such a bad translation in a very long time! Knowing Turkish (albeit not good enough to read a whole novel) I usually could guess at the original sentence and this knowledge made the mistakes in translation seem more obvious to me. It appears that the translator has not a very good gra ...more
The culmination of the book is the escape of a 100 or so people on a train from Paris to Istanbul. The story just la ...more
Given today's headlines concerning immigration, I thought Ayse Kulin's international, award-winning best-seller deserved a second read. In my original review in 2017, I stated I thought extended political conversations interrupted the flow of the novel. But now, today, that's what I want most to understand: the political implications of immigration, etc.
Turkish Jews, with assistance from the Turkish embassy in Paris, attempt to escape France and ret ...more
As one can easily imagine things become ominous for Selva and her family. In this book we learn of the extraordinary measures which Turkey took to protect all ...more
I recommend the book to all readers. The book read almost like a collection of short stories. Some stories I liked and some I did not like. The book lacked cohesion due to the style of writing. I did not like the main character, Silva. She was a foolish girl who grew into a foolish woman. I thought the author tried to portray her as a saint doing good deed after good deed for divergent people. Rafo, a Jew, married Silva, a Muslim, both citizens of Istanbul, during the early years of Wor ...more
Anyway, I selected the book because of the Goodreads description. I felt like it was going to be a gentle love story with touches of war related drama. Instead, it was a disjointed semi-love story involving what I considered to be a somewhat dys ...more
"Last Train to Istanbul" is the story of two privileged sisters, Sabiha and Selva, living in Istanbul. Sabiha follows her culture's expectations by marrying a man of the same faith and who has high ambitions within the new Turkish government. Selva follows her heart, marrying Rafael ... a Jewish man. Both Rafael and Selva are rejected by their families, and so they move to Paris where they will be more accepted.
However, it's the 19 ...more
My only criticism is to me sometimes the writing seemed choppy and there were a few inconsistencies tha ...more
|Reading the World: Last Train to Istanbul - spoilers allowed||14||13||May 04, 2019 09:42AM|
|Play Book Tag: Last Train to Instanbul - Ayse Kulin - 3 stars||7||18||May 24, 2018 09:14AM|
|Play Book Tag: Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin - 4 stars||9||20||May 14, 2018 12:48PM|
|Play Book Tag: Last Train to Istanbul by Ayse Kulin - 4.5 Stars||6||28||Mar 04, 2017 03:14AM|
Kulin graduated in literature from the American College for Girls in Arnavutköy. She released a collection of short stories titled Güneşe Dön Yüzünü in 1984. A short story from this called Gülizar was made into a film titled Kırık Bebek in 1986, for which she won a screenplay award from the Turkish culture ministry. Kulin worked as a scre ...more