Istanbul Passage

Istanbul Passage

Book - 2012
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9
A gripping tale of an American undercover agent in 1945 Istanbul who descends into the murky cat-and-mouse world of compromise and betrayal that will come to define the entire post-war era. Rich with atmosphere and period detail, this novel flawlessly blends fact and fiction into a haunting thriller about the dawn of the Cold War.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2012.
ISBN: 9781439156414
9781439156438
Characteristics: 404 p. : map ; 24 cm.
Summary: A gripping tale of an American undercover agent in 1945 Istanbul who descends into the murky cat-and-mouse world of compromise and betrayal that will come to define the entire post-war era. Rich with atmosphere and period detail, this novel flawlessly blends fact and fiction into a haunting thriller about the dawn of the Cold War.

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a
AlmadenAFS
Oct 20, 2018

I usually don't quit a book but I returned this book after three try's.

b
buffndm
Feb 03, 2018

Kanon is one of the best and this is one of his best. I thoroughly enjoyed if from beginning to end. The sense of time and place is extraordinary. The plotting is suspenseful. You are drawn into a world of desperate people and deadly consequences.

t
tjdickey
Dec 07, 2017

Kanon has a powerful talent for bringing the atmosphere of the past to life. As with the best spy fiction, the story is not as much about spying but about humanity, and the choices that humans make when caught between loyalty and self-interest, between love and betrayal. The blacks and whites become grey in the moments between the hard choices, and in the repercussions from the first time killing a man, or sending another one to death.
Istanbul in the immediate aftermath of WW2 offers a rich canvas for Kanon to explore human choices.

j
josesuerte
Sep 12, 2013

It was a little heard to get into at first. THere were multiple character to keep track of. However, one you understood who the players were it became a good story. I visited Istanbul many years ago and I thought the prose was good. It reminded me of an Alan Furst novel. The ending is a good one. It is worth it to get bast the first 100 pages.

brianreynolds Apr 20, 2013

Reader's of Joseph Kanon's Istanbul Passage are provided with a detailed map of the Bosporus region and urban Istanbul of 1945. I wore out the book flipping back to see where I was. I was, nevertheless, still lost somewhat in the sea of characters and sentence fragments, the fog of history just prior to my childhood. Thrillers ought to be breathless and mysterious and Kanon manages both. I'm still in doubt, however, as to whether my muddle was the result of encroaching senility or a lack of clarity in the writing.

b
billmacrotarian
Jan 13, 2013

Istanbul Passage is set in post WWII Turkey as the spy networks switch into cold war mode. American Leon Bauer has been helping Jews escape Europe and now has to help someone who was complicit in the murder of Jews escape the Russians. However, it seems that everyone wants his charge dead. As with all good spy novels the betrayals are early and often. Kanon has created a decent man who is honour bound to look after his distasteful charge while being able to trust no one. I read Istanbul Passage right after Alan Furst’s Mission to Paris. They are interesting book ends to WWII era espionage.

r
roystreet
Nov 16, 2012

A disappointment: a thoroughly competent detective story, but it didn't live up to the mystery and suspense promised by the jacket photo. I've been to the city, and the descriptive passages seem like tourist post-it notes rather than revealing the soul of Istanbul. The characters likewise are pretty standard issue and don't come near to engaging the history and psyche of the place. Not much suspense, either.

KatSu Aug 28, 2012

Sorry to say I just couldn't seem to get into this one :(

m
mam958
Jun 28, 2012

A good read. Some history woven in, good contrast in the types of American ex-pats.

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