Follow Navid Linnemann’s protagonists around Stambul in his collection of short stories that conjure up Europe at the turn of the century.
One city – many perspectives
Lately, I have been reading more short stories than usually and I found that I like those best that have some kind of connection to other stories. Especially, if they all come together in a collection. I love it when short stories recreate the atmosphere of a place – by showing it from many different angles. That’s exactly what Navid Linnemann accomplished in Stambul.
His protagonists come from very diverse backgrounds – they are diplomats, poor people, travelers, thieves. Each of them sees a unique side of the city and shares it with the reader. Together, those perspectives create a fascinating and very lively picture of Istanbul. Each story stands for itself and yet, when you read them one after the other, they paint a vivid image of the old Osmanic Empire and the Hungro-Austrian monarchy.
The city (I)Stambul connects all the protagonists, they could be passing each other in the streets, even though they live in their own realities. Only Valentino, the Italien traveller, shows up more often, always reading about the wars raging in Europe in his newspaper.
Like walking in the streets of Istanbul
I found it astonishing how real the setting seems. The author does a great job at describing the little details of that time and place. I am still wondering how he does it so well – the way he describes the city, I get the feeling that he knows everything about Istanbul. All the stories he tells in Stambul seem like they could have happened in real life and maybe some of them have?
Another element that adds a sense of reality to the book are the photos and maps that are included. I think they are chosen very well to add dimension to the book.
A different kind of “city guide”
I have been planning to visit Istanbul for a while and I think that Stambul is like a city guide when it comes to atmosphere – a city guide of stories. After reading it, I have a feeling of how it could be to walk in the old streets of Istanbul. I recommend it to everyone who is fascinated by this wonderful city.
“Stambul. Geschichten zwischen Sultanat und Republik” by Navid Linnemann
published: 2018, BoD
e-book and paperback
price: 9,99 Euro