In the sleepy Istanbul district of Eskiköy stands the former whirling dervish house of Adem Dede. Over the space of five days of an Istanbul heatwave, six lives weave a story of corporate wheeling and dealing, Islamic mysticism, political and economic intrigue, ancient Ottoman mysteries, a terrifying new terrorist threat, and a nanotechnology with the potential to transform every human on the planet.

The works of Ian McDonald have long been on my Pile o’ Shame, among those books I know I should read but have slipped off my radar for one reason or another. Like many of his other novels, The Dervish House is set in the near future, taking a glimpse of where our world might be directed. This time around, he turns his eyes to Istanbul, a culture and society that’s terribly misunderstood in the West, which makes it the perfect setting for a writer like McDonald.

Thanks to, you can read a juicy excerpt from The Dervish House.

  • Roland July 7, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I am reading it right now, and struggling greatly. I have never been less involved with such a good author. Because McDonald is obviously very good. But I just can’t get into the book, and I’ve already read about two thirds of it. I do not care about the characters, there is no plot whatsoever, and the atmosphere of Istanbul just isn’t coming to life, despite the author’s obviously energetic attempts to make it. Big disappointment so far.

  • aidan July 7, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Hrm. Larry, at OF Blog of the Fallen, had similar impressions.