Last Train to Istanbul

  • by Ayse Kulin
  • Narrated by Sanjiv Jhaveri
  • 12 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Born into privilege to one of the last Ottoman pashas, beautiful, spirited Selva is the brightest jewel in her father's household - until she falls in love with Rafael Alfandari. Though Turkey has long been a safe haven for Jews, marriage between a high-ranking Muslim girl and a Jewish boy is strictly forbidden. Yet young love will not be denied, and Selva and Rafael defy their parents and marry, fleeing to Paris in hopes of a better life - only to find themselves trapped in the path of the invading Nazis.
But in the midst of darkness shines a beacon of hope: A handful of courageous Turkish diplomats, protected only by the tenuous neutrality of their homeland, hatch a daring plot to spirit the exiled lovers and hundreds of innocent Jews to safety. Together, they will traverse a war-torn continent, crossing enemy lines and risking everything in one last, desperate bid for freedom.

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What the Critics Say

"Ayşe Kulin is a clever writer. She draws the reader into the story of the life and loves of a Turkish family in wartime, and by the time the reader realizes that she has also cranked up the tension with a rescue plot, it is too late to put the book down unfinished. For aficionados of wartime novels, as well as for anyone glued to his or her seat watching the film Argo, this is a must read." (Helen Bryan, best-selling author of War Brides and The Sisterhood)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Disappointing and confusing

What would have made Last Train to Istanbul better?

It was difficult to distinguish between the characters and the story introduced characters part way through which added to the confusion.


What will your next listen be?

Not sure yet - something easy listening


What aspect of Sanjiv Jhaveri’s performance might you have changed?

They did too many accents and the Turkish ones were difficult to understand and the French characters all sounded the same which meant it was hard to follow. Less accents would have helped


You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Well I haven't managed to finish it, but I would say it highlighted a hidden part of world war 2 in that I hadn't previously thought about the Turkish side of things.


Any additional comments?

I wish this had been better as the idea of an interweaving family story in World War Two from a Turkish perspective is fascinating. However it's difficult to keep track of characters and the story's pace is very slow. The many and varying accents don't help. I can't help but feel I would have enjoyed this better if it had more neutral narration. I have the kindle book so maybe I will finish this myself. I can't recommend the audio version.

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- Suzy

A book not to be missed

loved this book and the presentation. Didn't want it to end. It was very moving.
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-10-2013
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio