Istanbul Passage From the acclaimed bestselling author of Stardust The Good German and Los Alamos a gripping tale of an American undercover agent in Istanbul who descends into the murky cat and mouse world of

  • Title: Istanbul Passage
  • Author: Joseph Kanon
  • ISBN: 9781439156438
  • Page: 129
  • Format: Paperback
  • From the acclaimed, bestselling author of Stardust, The Good German, and Los Alamos 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.A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul has spent the war as a magnet for refugees andFrom the acclaimed, bestselling author of Stardust, The Good German, and Los Alamos 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.A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul has spent the war as a magnet for refugees and spies Even American businessman Leon Bauer has been drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs for the Allied war effort Now as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of post war life, he is given one assignment, a routine job that goes fatally wrong, plunging him into a tangle of intrigue and moral confusion.Played out against the bazaars and mosques and faded mansions of this knowing, ancient Ottoman city, Leon s attempt to save one life leads to a desperate manhunt and a maze of shifting loyalties that threatens his own How do you do the right thing when there are only bad choices to make Istanbul Passage is the story of a man swept up in the aftermath of war, an unexpected love affair, and a city as deceptive as the calm surface waters of the Bosphorus that divides it.Rich with atmosphere and period detail, Joseph Kanon s latest novel flawlessly blends fact and fiction into a haunting thriller about the dawn of the Cold War, once again proving why Kanon has been hailed as the heir apparent to Graham Greene The Boston Globe.

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      Published :2019-01-22T06:54:18+00:00

    One thought on “Istanbul Passage”

    1. ”You’re so sure somebody’s watching.”“It’s Istanbul.”The curtains twitch.The doorways have eyes. Nothing happens in Istanbul without someone seeing it. Anything clandestine has to be hidden behind layers of misdirection. There are eyes everywhere in a city of people who know the value of information. World War II has recently ended, but the next war, the Cold War, is already beginning in Istanbul. The Americans, the British, the Israelis, and the Russians are all vying for the last [...]

    2. Tick, tick, tick. Time is running out for American Leon Bauer to get his cargo safely out of the country. The country being Turkey, and the cargo a Rumanian wanted by the Americans, the Russians and the Turks who are all determined to find him.But how did this happen? How did a businessman (tobacco) who does some undercover jobs for the Americans suddenly find himself in such a precarious position? What appears to be a simple job of babysitting said Rumanian who is to be put onto an aeroplane to [...]

    3. It was only ok. I was going on holiday to Istanbul and wanted something to read. I thought this would be perfect - a thriller le Carre style set in the very city I was visiting. Well, I enjoyed the referneces to the Hagia Sophia and the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent, the crossing of the Golden Horn and the fishermen on the Galata Bridge. All that rang true. I could not, however, get on board with Kanon's style of writing. It read like a movie script, or should I say, a wannabe movie script. [...]

    4. A book I was savoring it's that good.There are parallels to Graham Greene and John le Carre here more of the former compared to the latter, with a bit of Jenkens thrown in. The fantastic never happens, the predictable occurs (and because this is a thriller you may hope it does not)- but the characters are so well rounded, so deeply camouflaged from themselves, as the Californians out there may say "conflicted," that all the story (and I mean all apart from solid history) is character driven. Wha [...]

    5. A John LeCarre wanna be, but the character is not as complex as George Smiley. Not sure I even like the main character or his "love interest." The most compelling character is his brain addled wife, but, unfortunately she does little except provide a room for exposition. How could an accidental spy be so good at what is portrayed in other books as a craft? It kind of demeans the whole profession and makes it seem like any intelligent person could double deal, elude tails, create alibis, etc. I d [...]

    6. Hard to imagine any other setting for Kanon’s historical thriller, Istanbul Passage. Post World War II spy intrigues, war criminals seeking new friends, allegiances shifting yet again between America and Russia, battered Jews looking for refuge, illicit romance, the legacy of harems and the labyrinthine streets opening onto the wide waterway connecting two continents. Where better than Istanbul to depict the mire of ambiguous compromises, the sinuous balancing of countries against each other b [...]

    7. Istanbul, after the war, trying to remain a neutral territory becomes a hotbed of rumor and intelligence, filled with various countries agents and spies. Jews are still trying to find a safe haven and escape from the racial bias that has followed them, even into this country. Into this climate of tension and paranoia comes an ordinary man, Leon, who is asked to rise above his comfort level and perform a job. What a horrible mess he soon finds himself involved in, because he is actually trapped i [...]

    8. All right, I'm officially a convert. This is my first experience of Joseph Kanon, and it was well worth it. If you are going to write about the morally ambiguous world of spycraft but also give readers someone to root for, you need an author who can create characters who may never be what they seem, yet have some endearing qualities -- even if, as in one case in this novel, they happen to be a former Nazi-ally butcher of Jews. The story revolves around Leon Bauer, an American businessman (tobacc [...]

    9. A man, filled with good intentions, is caught in the jaws of the competing and intersecting interests of global powers in Istanbul after World War II. Istanbul is the bridge between north and south in Europe, and between West and East. It has always been a place of great intrigue and mystery, filled with industrialists and spies. By setting his mystery here after the war, Kanon capitalizes on the reader’s sense of dislocation. We are familiar with the war, but we know little about what happene [...]

    10. Despite the exquisite portraiture of post WWII Istanbul and a gripping plot, I found the terse dialogue distracting and insipid. Withholding information is a key component of an exciting mystery, but if you have to reread the dialogue just to determine who is talking, you've taken the conceit too far. The one, two, three, four and five word sentences made me feel as if I were reading a film noir script. Comparatively speaking, Kanon makes Dashiell Hammett look like Woody Allen.

    11. Joseph Kanon has set several previous novels in mid- or late 1940s, which plays to one of his most tangible strengths--convincingly depicting a place and time almost frozen in amber. His plots also have picked up a fraught event in history (e.g the Manhattan Project in LOS ALAMOS, post-war U.S. occupation in THE GOOD GERMAN and the growing anti-Communist hysteria in Hollywood in STARDUST) and put convincingly real characters, men and women, in motion in that specific and tense historical context [...]

    12. Intrigue, Romance, and Betrayal in Post-World War II IstanbulSome books build slowly, and just as you begin to wonder whether you have the energy to finish them, you discover you’re a captive and no longer able to put them aside. Then they build and build, until you find yourself on the last page, out of breath from the frenzied rush to the end. Istanbul Passage is one of those books.Kanon, born in 1946, writes spy stories about the period immediately following World War II and before the Kore [...]

    13. I really wanted to like this book. It has a decent plot, and an interesting setting. I turned out to not be a fan of this writer's style. This book didn't flow for me, it was a chore to read.

    14. The period and setting for this novel was captivating enough to keep me reading in spite of the novel's slow pace. Kanon's story takes place almost entirely in Istanbul with the exception of the few forays, the main character Leon Bauer makes aboard a fishing vessel and later aboard a transport ship carrying jewish refugees to Palestine.Kanon's sense of place and knowledge of Istanbul, especially during those nostalgic years after WWII puts the reader in every passage. Though the story's pace wa [...]

    15. I admire Kanon's novels; at his best as in "The Good German" he combines suspense, interesting characters and a great gift for background and setting. While "Istanbul Passage" is good at providing an interesting and unusual historical context (Istanbul in 1945, sending Jewish refugees to Palestine, and the start of the Cold War), this book gets off to a rather slow start, with a lot of meandering dialogue. A major problem with the book is its style - an excess of terse, clipped, narrative and di [...]

    16. Just when you think you have heard every horror of World War II, Joseph Kanon tells you about Străuleşti. In earlier thrillers like “The Good German” and “Los Alamos” Kanon has gone to unexplored corners of the war experience and turned them into exceptionally atmospheric novels. “Istanbul Passage” covers the period right after the war when government intelligence networks were being dismantled, but new alliances were forming to smuggle Jews to Palestine and bring people with certa [...]

    17. Really a fine novel here. And I love titles that have 2 (or in this case at least 3) different meanings. But, pay attention when reading! The thoughts expressed on the page shift from action to dialog to the protagonist's inner thoughts without warning and sometimes in the same paragraph An analogy comes to mind that may help out this review - in all of the superhero (e.g. Spiderman) movies, I'm always most interested in the episodes where they first discover and experiment with their super powe [...]

    18. Okay -- I must be on my one of my "softie" streaks -- two 4 star books within a few days.But any book that compels me enough to read it in two days tends to beg for one more star than that three star midpoint. On that basis alone, Istanbul Passage is getting my nod.I don't read this genre a lot -- mystery, crime, adventure -- not sure where the categorization pros slot this one. Thus, I'm not sure how well the writing stands up to those standards. I did find the phrases (versus sentences) discon [...]

    19. If you like Alan Furst (and you should!) you will probably like this.Author Joseph Kanon sets his story in Istanbul directly after WW2. Leon Bauer ostensibly works for an American tobacco company while doing clandestine early Cold War work for the US consulate and caring for his wife, a German Jew who has been traumatized by a disastrous experience working to move refugees through Turkey to Israel. This story revolves around a similar project, with Leon stuck in the middle of one, then two murde [...]

    20. Im ersten Friedensjahr nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg ist Istanbul als neutrales Territorium und Verbindung zwischen Europa und Asien noch immer Zwischenstation für Flüchtlinge, Staatenlose, Agenten und Geschäftemacher aller Art. Die Botschaften der ehemaligen Kriegsgegner dienen als gesellschaftlich akzeptierte Fassade für allerlei konspirative Abläufe. Leon Bauer wickelt in der Rolle eines Tabakwarenhändlers gelegentlich sehr spezielle Geschäfte zwischen Ost und West ab. Überläufer und In [...]

    21. “Istanbul Passage” by Joseph Kanon, published by Atria Books.Category – Mystery/ThrillerIf you are looking for a really, really good spy novel “Istanbul Passage” will satisfy all spy aficionados. There is no better place, today or back in the 1940’s, for a spy novel than Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul straddles the Bosphorus, one side Asia, the other side Europe. It has always been a hotbed for spies, Russian, American, British, and just about every other country. The Turks were, and sti [...]

    22. Description: 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 a [...]

    23. I enjoyed my first attempt at the work of Joseph Kanon. It was an excellent post-WWII spy novel. The setting was Istanbul and appropriately exotic. The city becomes another character in this story. The main character, Leon Bauer, is an American exporter, working for Reynolds Cigarettes. He also gets involved occasionally working for the local American spy guy, Tommy. His last mission goes awry, to help smuggle a potential war criminal into the city and pass him to the Americans. His handler is k [...]

    24. Masterfully plotted, a real cork-screw. And set in one of the most fascinating cities on the planet. Thematically deep, with an added patina of moral murkiness painted over a flimsy network of complicated spy-thriller betrayals. The prose a bit too plain for my taste, but that's a quibble. Kanon is a Graham Greene for the American empire.

    25. Kanon's writing is exceptional: the story is cleverly driven through dialogue and leaves the reader questioning up to the last page. His descriptions of Istanbul confirm my excitement for seeing it all in August.

    26. My ratings tend to be below the averages, but in the case of Joseph Kanon's Istanbul Passage, just the opposite is true. I found this to be a very intelligent, gripping espionage thriller, much better than its average of 3.59. The characterizations, the dialogue, and the setting in Istanbul immediately after World War II and at the dawning of the Cold War all seemed first-rate to me.Rather uniquely, at least in my experience in this genre, the lead character struggles with the moral compromises [...]

    27. This was my first Joseph Kanon book, and now I’m hooked. He draws you into the thrilling world of espionage, like the tempting fragrance of Istanbul’s spice bazaar. It’s the end of 1945, in an Istanbul divided between loyalties as it straddles east and west, land and sea. Leon, an agent and a victim of betrayal, must decide who is friend and foe. He adjusts quickly to his predicament but is faced with agonizing choices ranging from bad to worse. Just how far is he willing to go to shield a [...]

    28. Historically interesting as I had no knowledge of Turkey's history at this time. Very much a Le Carre style in that I wasn't really sure what was happening until I got to the end! Probably about 50 pages too long!

    29. Istanbul is the true protagonist of this book, a complex character revealed gradually, in light and shadow. The sense of place is pervasive, the details deft yet sparing. Kanon structures the plot organically, unexpected twists and turns deriving logically from the world of the story. No dei ex machina sweeping in from Washington or parts hitherto unknown…or at least a minimum. That, and the setting, are what make the book such a satisfying read.Four rather than five stars for being ever-so-sl [...]

    30. I picked up a copy of Istanbul Passage during an Kindle sale and held the copy for awhile, to read as a mental release after finishing a more challenging literary novel. I liked the setting, in Istanbul in late 1945, just after the end of World War II in Europe, while Jewish survivors of the death camps in Romania, Poland, and Germany tried to reach Palestine, through British blockades. I saw that this novel was fairly new but that the author, Joseph Kanon, had written several other espionage n [...]

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