The Janissary Tree

  • Title: The Janissary Tree
  • Author: Jason Goodwin
  • ISBN: 9780312426132
  • Page: 418
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Janissary Tree Jason Goodwin has unleashed his talent on a series of mysteries set in nineteenth century Istanbul and starring the unlikeliest and most engaging of detectives Yashim the eunuch The Janissary Tree is
    Jason Goodwin has unleashed his talent on a series of mysteries set in nineteenth century Istanbul and starring the unlikeliest and most engaging of detectives Yashim the eunuch The Janissary Tree is the first in the series, and the year is 1836 Europe is modernizing, and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire feels he has no choice but to follow suit But just as he s pois Jason Goodwin has unleashed his talent on a series of mysteries set in nineteenth century Istanbul and starring the unlikeliest and most engaging of detectives Yashim the eunuch The Janissary Tree is the first in the series, and the year is 1836 Europe is modernizing, and the sultan of the Ottoman Empire feels he has no choice but to follow suit But just as he s poised to announce sweeping political change, a wave of murders threatens the fragile balance of power in his court Who is behind the killings Deep in the Abode of Felicity, the most forbidden district of Topkapi Palace, the sultan ruler of the Black Sea and the White, ruler of Rumelia and Mingrelia, lord of Anatolia and Ionia, Romania and Macedonia, Protector of the Holy Cities, steely rider through the realms of bliss announces, Send for Yashim Leading us through the palace s luxurious seraglios and Istanbul s teeming streets, Yashim places together the clues He is not alone He depends on the wisdom of a dyspeptic Polish ambassador, a transsexual dancer, and the Creole born queen mother He manages to find sweet salvation in the arms of another man s wife this is not your everyday eunuch And he introduces us to the Janissaries For four hundred years, they were the empire s elite soldiers But they grew too powerful, and ten years earlier the sultan had them crushed Are the Janissaries staging a brutal comeback And if they are, how can they be stopped without throwing Istanbul into political chaos

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      418 Jason Goodwin
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      Posted by:Jason Goodwin
      Published :2019-04-05T13:54:54+00:00

    About Jason Goodwin


    1. Jason Goodwin s latest book is YASHIM COOKS ISTANBUL Culinary Adventures in the Ottoman Kitchen.He studied Byzantine history at Cambridge University and returned to an old obsession to write The Gunpowder Gardens or, A Time For Tea Travels in China and India in Search of Tea, which was shortlisted for the Thomas Cook Award When the Berlin Wall fell, he walked from Poland to Istanbul to encounter the new European neighbours His account of the journey, On Foot to the Golden Horn, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Mail on Sunday Prize in 1993.Fascinated by what he had learned of Istanbul s perpetual influence in the region, he wrote Lords of the Horizons A History of the Ottoman Empire, a New York Times Notable Book If you want to learn, he says, write a book Lords of the Horizons was described by Time Out as perhaps the most readable history ever written on anything Having always wanted to write fiction, he became popular as the author of the mystery series beginning with The Janissary Tree, which won the coveted Edgar Award for Best Novel in 2007 Translated into than 40 languages, the series continues with The Snake Stone, The Bellini Card, An Evil Eye and The Baklava Club They feature a Turkish detective, Yashim, who lives in 19th century Istanbul YASHIM COOKS ISTANBUL is an illustrated collection of recipes, inspired by the cookery in his five published adventures.


    407 Comments


    1. Još jedna knjiga koja me je osvojila na prečac i koju sam progutala u jednom dahu i to davne 2006. pre pojave (i popularnosti) turskih serija kod nas :) Dobar krimić s primesama istorijskog i egzotike :)

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    2. Truth is, I did not finish it. I found the characters too much like from a comic-book (not even a graphic novel), and it, well, plodded.It actually won an Edgar - which is why I checked it out the library in the first place.But the real kicker is the author sincerely dislikes Constantinople/Istanbul, the scene of the crime. Why do I say this? Well, they say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. In my case, I studied Ottoman history in grad school and found it fascinating. The book says inside [...]

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    3. I cannot enjoy this Historical Mystery Novel. The mystery part has not much mystery to solve, I believe readers could guess it easily before the protagonist reveal the culprit. No need to reveal more. It is one of the easiest mystery that I've ever read.For setting and background, at first I have high hope with eunuch detective and his unusual friends. But then, the details of the characters are not convincing. At read status update, I wrote I found 2 flaws in details. Well, I don't remember wha [...]

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    4. This book is very, very encouraging for prospective authors of historical fiction: By all means, go ahead and write a book and don't bother to make any research: there are enough idiots out there (including myself) with plenty of time and money to spend recklessly on a boring story and facts that don't simply match. This is a waste!- Many of the names are made-up; Yashim, Preen, Palmuk! What the heck? These names are not Turkish at all!- The story transpires in 1836; there are visionary characte [...]

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    5. Sometimes, the same thing that makes a writer a brilliant historian prevents him from becoming something much more humble, say, a writer of mysteries. Jason Goodwin, whose book The Lord of the Horizons was a wonderful short history of the Ottoman Empire, tripped up a bit when he wrote his The Janissary Tree. The hero of the book is an investigator who also happens to be a eunuch. In the approaching twilight years of the Empire, Yashim tries to understand a plot to bring down the Sultanate on the [...]

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    6. The Janissary Tree is the first time I’ve read anything by author Jason Goodwin. Set in Istanbul in the mid-19th century it reminded me of My Name is Black, but this is a less ambitious novel. Still it is a very good one, but shorter and probably much more accessible to the casual/average reader.I liked the writing, the plotting and the descriptions of time and place. The author made me feel as if I was there and able to understand the life of the ordinary people that form the backdrop of this [...]

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    7. The setting of the The Janissary Tree> is fascinating: the novel takes place in 1836 in Istanbul, with the Ottoman empire on the cusp between tradition and the modernity that will ultimately destroy it. And the main character, Yashim, who is a eunuch, certainly provides a twist on the traditional detective! However, I can’t say that I loved the novel as a novel, rather than as a thinly veiled history lesson about a rather forgotten period in history. In fact, every character was ready to sp [...]

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    8. Oh, the lure of the exotic. And what could be more exotic to a Californian on a rainy winter weekend than a mystery set in the crumbling Ottoman empire of the 1830s with a eunuch investigator, intrigues among harem concubines, Janissaries, and the ambassadors of France, Russia, Poland, and England, among many others? I picked this book up on a whim after reading about it on my friend Dave's blog (dave@krondo), and, despite intending to read and work on many other things, found myself with my nos [...]

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    9. This historical murder mystery reminds me of Caleb Carr's writing except Goodwin doesn't have Carr's flair for suspense nor can he generate the excitement or horror that Carr achieves in books like "The Alienist". In short, Goodwin isn't a GREAT murder/mystery writer, but he is a GOOD mystery writer and what he does achieve here is an ability to transport the reader back to Istanbul in the 1830's. I had read Goodwin's history book of the Ottoman Empire, "Lord's of the Horizon" and what is remark [...]

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    10. Surprised this won the Edgar Award. Book was pretty dry and a little disjointed. I suppose that when the hero was in mortal danger, I was supposed to be nervous on his account, but I wasn't. The stakes if the eunuch failed his mission were pretty high--four terrible murders about to be committed, the sultan and his mother would be killed, city in flames, revolution and invasion, no more French novels--but I was blithely unconcerned.Completely lacking in suspense. Also it was pretty obvious who t [...]

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    11. I have to admit that I totally don’t get what the fuss is all about. The Janissary Tree bears all the earmarks of a first novel, including a healthy crop of irritating literary tics that I sincerely hope Goodwin will outgrow (to name one: the habit of ending many, many chapters with ridiculously purple Perils of Pauline-esque “cliff-hangers” [of this variety: “Little did he know how soon he would be seeing his friend again—and under what shocking circumstances!”]). Okay, I made that [...]

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    12. In THE JANISSARY TREE, Jason Goodwin introduces us to a fascinating character: Detective Yasmin, a man whose keen observations of the world around him bring to life the tumultuous era of 19th century Istanbul. Yasmin is a eunuch, but not without his own appetites; favored by the palace, he is called upon by the Sultan, who is on the cusp of introducing sweeping changes even as he dwells in an archaic system of officials, harem girls, indolence and stifling etiquette. But when the bodies of four [...]

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    13. This was a decent historical mystery, but it was lacking in some areas for me. I loved the colorful backdrop that the setting held, but I wish Goodwin would have given more information about the Harem murder. He focused so much on the military murders and running around after Janissaries that he almost forgot to connect the end resolution to the original murder. But, I did like the characters and he gave me a good enough taste of the setting that I'll definitely check out another in the series.

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    14. I read this because I was interested in the details of 19th century Istanbul, as it was faced with European influences and change. I'm a fan of detective novels only if I get a good dose of charactr and culture (as in James Lee Burke and Tony Hillerman), but this one felt wooden and contrived to me if the author was more interested in the political and cultural history than the characters.

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    15. Entretenido. Trama policial muy bien ambientada, pero algo falta de fuerza por momentos.

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    16. So-so mystery set in 19th century Istanbul. The hero was unusual, a eunuch, probably had the operation after puberty; there is a somewhat risible sex scene; also he passes for a regular man during his investigations. There are three "military mysteries"--deaths of soldiers and one of an odalisque in the sultan's harem. Could it be the Janissaries are behind the deaths? Strong point in mystery's favor is the exotic atmosphere. Story was confusing and long-winded. I do not see how it got the award [...]

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    17. Excellent mystery in which the author successfully uses his encyclopedic academic knowledge of the Ottoman empire circa 1830. Historians don't often have the ability to turn their interesting knowledge into a compelling book but Goodwin does. Although very good, his skill suggests that he could improve as a writer (and may have done so, as this is the first in a series). What I loved about this book is the palpable atmosphere he creates of this under appreciated advanced culture. Goodwin is at h [...]

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    18. The whole time I was reading this, I kept thinking This is why I give terrific books like MAPLECROFT four stars, because I need room for THIS.Then I got to the end, and the whole thing fell flat. The setting is Istanbul in the 1830's, and an army officer has been murdered, his body displayed in a gruesome way. Imperial operative Yashim is brought in to solve the killing, and to find the other three officers who disappeared at the same time. Yashim is a man of some breeding who can move unobtrusi [...]

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    19. Set in the 1830s, Istanbul seems peaceful with exotic spices perfuming the air. But 4 cadets of the New Guard are missing and their general, the seraskier, seeks the assistance of Yashim lala, the stealthy guardian of security, a trusted eunuch approved by the Sultan and who has access to the harem. When one by one, 3 of the cadets are found dead and in very disturbing circumstances, Yashim realizes that their disappearance and also the methods by which they are killed and where they are found h [...]

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    20. Yashim, an investigator who can travel anywhere within the Ottoman Empire to solve murders, is the unlikely hero of this novel. Four officers of the new military disappear, bright intelligent young men all. When they turn up murdered in horrible ways Yashim finds the trail appears to lead to the Janissaries, a ruthless group of mercenaries who served as the empire's guards for four hundred years. Because he is a eunuch, he can even move within the sultan's harem if needed.Yashim must discover wh [...]

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    21. The Ottoman Empire is modernizing in 1836. The corrupt Janissary Corp was forcibly disbanded 10 years ago and the Sultan is on the verge of making sweeping changes. A series of disturbing murders are committed in Istanbul and Yashim must find the culprit before wide spread panic ensues. The cast includes a Polish ambassador without a country, a Russian ambassador with a bored wife, the leader of the new Ottoman Army, the Sultan’s mother and a transsexual dancer, to name a few. The amount of ch [...]

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    22. The first offering in this detective series set in Istambul in the 1830's. Yashim is on the trail of a conspirary of former soldiers "The Janissaries" while trying to solve the murder of a woman in the Sultan's harem and the theft of the Sultan's mother precious jewels given to her by Napoleon's wife Josephine. The setting is exotic, the plot is intriguing. Yashim is endearing. Those are the pluses. But this book suffers from what I've nicknamed the "Dan Brown syndrome" 132 chapters for 300 page [...]

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    23. I'm glad I disregarded the unfavorable reviews of those who preceded me as readers. Mr. Goodwin is thorough as a researcher and obviously felt it important to his story to include the details of this period in Turkish history. I, for one, having read Suleiman the Magnificent and other books about the Ottoman Empire, think it vital for Westerners to understand the history of the Middle East.The Janissaries were the Sultan's right arm in the expansion of the Ottoman Empire and helped him retain hi [...]

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    24. Really a history lesson more than a compelling mystery. Yashim, the eunuch, employed by the sultan, lives in Istanbul of the 1830's. It is 10 years after the sultan destroyed the Janissaries. The Janissaries were an elite fighting corps within the Ottoman army made up of young captured Europeans. Initially very valiant and successful in Turkish battles, the group became corrupt as the empire stopped its expansion. So, the sultan burned all of them one night while they were in their barracks. (So [...]

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    25. Very fun and very atmospheric. One of the cleverest things Goodwin does is make his central character a palace eunuch, one of the few people who can move between different strata of society - the palace, the harem, the hamaam, the city itself. This allows you, the reader, to peek into different quarters of the city, to enter a variety of Ottoman Istanbul's circles that ordinarily would have little contact with each other. I read this shortly before I went to Turkey, and when I found myself on th [...]

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    26. Perhaps it's because I'm heading to Istanbul soon, but I liked this very much. Goodwin's descriptions meant I could picture the characters, feel the cashmere, get stuck behind donkey carts and taste the food. The Janissary Tree interweaves mystery with spiced coffee, dastardly fiends and history lessons of a sort. What fun.

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    27. Great mysteries in an exotic setting with an intriguing protagonist. Delicious.

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    28. Picked this up because I read a blurb on NPR about the cookbook. I like food, I like mysteries, I like history I also like good writing. This book has the first three, and also 50% of the last. It has writing.It has a lot of writing. I suspect that Jason Goodwin wrote technical manuals in his previous career.This is one of those books where the author feels the need to put down every piece of research they did for the book directly into the book. Apparently many details aren't accurate, which ma [...]

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    29. More like 3.5 stars. A mystery/thriller set in 19th Century Istanbul is right up my alley and I mostly really enjoyed it. On the good side, The Janissary Tree presents a really compelling lead character in Yashim and is packed with fascinating historical detail. Goodwin offers a nice balance between quick story telling and intricacy that made the settings that Yashim explores while trying to solve the book's mysteries vivid. On the bad side, Goodwin jumps from scene to scene somewhat suddenly, w [...]

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    30. Beautiful scene setting, but the plot moves at the breakneck speed of a drowsy camel. Great for learning about the Ottomans (the author is a historian and it shows), but as a mystery, too slow, too ambling.

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