MLA Gold Award Site

Istanbul Passage: Book summary and reviews of Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon

Istanbul Passage

A Novel

by Joseph Kanon

Istanbul Passage
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  May 2012
    416 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul survived the Second World War as a magnet for refugees and spies, trafficking in secrets and lies rather than soldiers. Expatriate American businessman Leon Bauer was drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs in support of the Allied war effort.

Now, as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, Leon is given one last routine assignment. But when the job goes fatally wrong - an exchange of gunfire, a body left in the street, a potential war criminal on his hands - Leon is plunged into a tangle of intrigue, shifting loyalties, and moral uncertainty.

Played out against the bazaars and mosques and faded mansions of this knowing, ancient Ottoman city, Leon’s conflicted attempt to save one life leads to a desperate manhunt that ultimately threatens his own survival. How do you do the right thing when there are only bad choices to be made?

Rich with atmosphere and period detail, Istanbul Passage is the haunting story of a man swept up in the dawn of the Cold War, of an unexpected love affair, and of a city as deceptive as the calm surface waters of the Bosphorus that divides it.

Read a Sample

Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews


BookBrowse Review
"Set in Turkey shortly after the Second World War, Istanbul Passage is the latest spy novel by author Joseph Kanon. Early on in the book, an American is killed during a botched secret agent transfer and all sides--Russian, American, Turkish--work hard to figure out exactly who and where the mole is. Istanbul Passage has some wonderful settings, beautifully described. The city of Istanbul comes alive in its pages as each mini-adventure is set in a distinct city neighborhood. Ultimately though Kanon chooses to maintain a clipped pace, sacrificing plot detail (and explanations) along the way. The result is an atmospheric yet tryingly obtuse novel." - Poornima Apte

Other Reviews
"From an idealist to a pragmatist. Istanbul Passage is a first-rate espionage novel, filled with complexity and thrills, but its greatest success may be in this much more universal literary exploration: how an ordinary man is transformed by extraordinary circumstances." - Publishers Weekly

"With dialogue that can go off like gunfire and a streak of nostalgia that feels timeless, this book takes its place among espionage novels as an instant classic." - Kirkus Reviews

The information about Istanbul Passage shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Joseph Kanon Author Biography

© Marion Ettlinger

Joseph Kanon was born in Pennsylvania and was educated at Harvard and Trinity College, Cambridge. While still an undergraduate, he began a career in publishing as a reader for The Atlantic and subsequently held editorial positions at The Saturday Review, Little,Brown, and Coward, McCann.

In 1995, on a visit to the Southwest, he visited Los Alamos and conceived the idea for a novel about the Manhattan Project. Los Alamos was a best-seller, translated into 20 languages, and won the Edgar Award for best first novel. Now a full-time writer, he followed it with The Prodigal Spy, The Good German, Alibi and Stardust. The Good German was made into a film with George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Kanon won the Hammett Award of the International Association of ...

Full Biography
Link to Joseph Kanon's Website

Other books by Joseph Kanon at BookBrowse
  • The Good German jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more thrillers...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
    by Kathleen Rooney

    "Effervescent with verve, wit, and heart" - Booklist, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win No Man's Land

No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien

Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.

Enter

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Homesick for Another World
    Homesick for Another World
    by Ottessa Moshfegh
    The frizzy, freaky, funky, and frazzled all pile on in this much anticipated short story collection ...
  • Book Jacket: Conclave
    Conclave
    by Robert Harris
    Although best known for his fact-based historical thrillers, in Conclave, best-selling author Robert...
  • Book Jacket: Conclave
    Conclave
    by Robert Harris
    Although best known for his fact-based historical thrillers, in Conclave, best-selling author Robert...

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H W S W T Devil S H A L S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.