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Last Train to Istanbul: A Novel | [Ayse Kulin]

Last Train to Istanbul: A Novel

Born into privilege to one of the last Ottoman pashas, beautiful, spirited Selva is the brightest jewel in her father’s household - until she falls in love with Rafael Alfandari. Though Turkey has long been a safe haven for Jews, marriage between a high-ranking Muslim girl and a Jewish boy is strictly forbidden. Yet young love will not be denied, and Selva and Rafael defy their parents and marry, fleeing to Paris in hopes of a better life - only to find themselves trapped in the path of the invading Nazis.
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Publisher's Summary

Born into privilege to one of the last Ottoman pashas, beautiful, spirited Selva is the brightest jewel in her father’s household - until she falls in love with Rafael Alfandari. Though Turkey has long been a safe haven for Jews, marriage between a high-ranking Muslim girl and a Jewish boy is strictly forbidden. Yet young love will not be denied, and Selva and Rafael defy their parents and marry, fleeing to Paris in hopes of a better life - only to find themselves trapped in the path of the invading Nazis.

But in the midst of darkness shines a beacon of hope: A handful of courageous Turkish diplomats, protected only by the tenuous neutrality of their homeland, hatch a daring plot to spirit the exiled lovers and hundreds of innocent Jews to safety. Together, they will traverse a war-torn continent, crossing enemy lines and risking everything in one last, desperate bid for freedom.

©2002 Ayşe Kulin (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Ayşe Kulin is a clever writer. She draws the reader into the story of the life and loves of a Turkish family in wartime, and by the time the reader realizes that she has also cranked up the tension with a rescue plot, it is too late to put the book down unfinished. For aficionados of wartime novels, as well as for anyone glued to his or her seat watching the film Argo, this is a must read." (Helen Bryan, best-selling author of War Brides and The Sisterhood)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (18 )
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3.8 (14 )
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Story
3.4 (14 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Rachel Pennsylvania 08-19-14
    Rachel Pennsylvania 08-19-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I didn't care for the narration"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I couldn't enjoy the story. The narrator had a terrible accent, bad timing and the wrong intonation.It got in the way of my enjoyment of the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marion Marshall 07-28-14

    I love reading. For a long time, I snubbed audio books like so many others. How wrong and misguided I was.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great narrator...good story"
    What made the experience of listening to Last Train to Istanbul the most enjoyable?

    The narrator's voice really transported you to a different place


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Last Train to Istanbul?

    Several moments on the train had me holding my breath.


    What about Sanjiv Jhaveri’s performance did you like?

    Consistent. The story is told from various points of view but without using silly voices the narrator conveys each story in a respectful and wonderful way.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Suzy
    10/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing and confusing"
    What would have made Last Train to Istanbul better?

    It was difficult to distinguish between the characters and the story introduced characters part way through which added to the confusion.


    What will your next listen be?

    Not sure yet - something easy listening


    What aspect of Sanjiv Jhaveri’s performance might you have changed?

    They did too many accents and the Turkish ones were difficult to understand and the French characters all sounded the same which meant it was hard to follow. Less accents would have helped


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Well I haven't managed to finish it, but I would say it highlighted a hidden part of world war 2 in that I hadn't previously thought about the Turkish side of things.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish this had been better as the idea of an interweaving family story in World War Two from a Turkish perspective is fascinating. However it's difficult to keep track of characters and the story's pace is very slow. The many and varying accents don't help. I can't help but feel I would have enjoyed this better if it had more neutral narration. I have the kindle book so maybe I will finish this myself. I can't recommend the audio version.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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