Ysenda Maxtone Graham

Bish bash Bosphorus: Elif Shafak’s saga of love and death in Istanbul is crammed with incident on every page

A review of The Architect’s Apprentice by the prize-winning Turkish author promises an enthralling read from start to finish

If you like to curl up by the fire with a proper, old-fashioned, saga-style tale about a boy and his elephant in Istanbul in the 1500s, The Architect’s Apprentice might be suitable for you. My heart sank slightly when the review copy arrived: a 452-page brick by an Orange-Prize-shortlisted Turkish author and ‘global speaker’ who ‘blends western and eastern methods of storytelling’ and has 1.6

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Get your first month free when you subscribe. After that it’s just £1 a week for full website and app access. There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.

Offer ends in: ${days} days ${hours} hrs ${minutes} mins ${seconds} secs

Unlock more articles



Ends tonight:
10 weeks of unlimited digital access for £1

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Get 10 weeks of online and app access for just £1. That's a saving of more than 80% off the usual rate.

Already a subscriber? Log in