Erik's Reviews > The Dervish House

The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
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Aug 22, 2011

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Read from August 22 to 26, 2011

Very well written and researched, but the pace is slow and meandering. A bit of a slog actually. The science fiction takes a back seat to the writer's desire to build up setting and atmosphere with literary techniques. The setting is, of course, Istanbul, one of the most interesting cities in the world. We see it twenty years hence, as nanotechnology has superseded the information revolution (nano you can snort!). We are following six or so characters over six days after a bomb blast on the tram. A screwed-up kid who sees djinn (genies), an antiques dealer looking for a man mummified in honey, her husband an annoying Master of the Universe type commodities trader, a Greek mathematician, a yuppie marketer marketing a new nano product for socially awkward nerds, and a boy detective with a bit-robot capable of assuming various shapes. They are all connected somehow with the Dervish House neighborhood and the bomb plot. Sometimes the plot lines get a bit dense and it's hard to know who is who among the minor characters or exactly what is happening, but it does come together at the end.
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08/23/2011 page 210
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