The Architect's Apprentice

  • by Elif Shafak
  • Narrated by Grant Cartwright
  • 16 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

There were six of us: the master, the apprentices and the white elephant. We built everything together...
Sixteenth century Istanbul: a stowaway arrives in the city bearing an extraordinary gift for the Sultan. The boy is utterly alone in a foreign land, with no worldly possessions to his name except Chota, a rare and valuable white elephant destined for the palace menagerie.
So begins an epic adventure that will see young Jahan rise from lowly origins to the highest ranks of the Sultan's court. Along the way he will meet deceitful courtiers and false friends, gypsies, animal tamers, and the beautiful, mischievous Princess Mihrimah. He will journey on Chota's back to the furthest corners of the Sultan's kingdom and back again. And one day he will catch the eye of the royal architect, Sinan, a chance encounter destined to change Jahan's fortunes forever.


What the Critics Say

"This is Shafak's most ambitious novel yet, and it is her best ..." (The Independent)
"This edifying, emotionally forceful novel shows how hate and envy destroy, and how love might build the world anew ..." (The Guardian)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Spoiled by the narrator

The book is not about a boy's rise from rags to riches as the book description says. I can only think whoever wrote that did not read the book.
The book is in effect a series of interlinked short stories. They are well written & entertaining.
What spoiled the book for me was the narrator. He has a good clear voice but his frequent mis pronounciation of many words became extremely irritating. The narrator is telling the story in an English accent but tends to use the American pronounciation of many words. Many other words he just pronounces wrongly. It really spoilt tje book for me
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- Chris

for fans of the Arabian Nights

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend this to lovers of flowery language and pious aphorisms, and lots of patience. Many would say it is beautifully written At first I was fascinated by the setting, 16th century Istanbul of which I know nothing and found Eli Shafak's account enlightening. Despite the hero, Jehan's many narrow escapes, each came to seem like the one before.The plot moved too slowly for me and I couldn't empathise with any of the characters.

If you’ve listened to books by Elif Shafak before, how does this one compare?


What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

I found the narrator's voice and tone monotonous.

Could you see The Architect's Apprentice being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Probably. It would be very PC and look gorgeous. Probably best made in Bollywood

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- Teresa Gamble

Book Details

  • Release Date: 19-12-2014
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd