Top positive review
29 August 2016
Brilliant history for those of us weaned on the thin gruel of Western European and puffed up British Empire tales. Here lies the richest part of Eastern and Orthodox with its entanglements into the calligraphic mysteries of Islam. Told by Richard Fidler - a master interviewer - who sees it for - and through - his love for his companion on the journey - his mid-teens son. There is a tenderness that carries over from that relationship into the way he writes the history of Byzantium Constantinople Istanbul. When I was just a year or two older than son Joe I had a girl-friend from Baghdad. Christian. An older brother had been born in Damascus, her mother in Teheran - her father in Stamboul - the City at the centre of this book. My wife and I were in Turkey just a few months before the visit outlined in this book. With fresh eyes I saw it all again - bravo, Richard! And well pointed out - the Simon Winchester admiration (who wrote a book on a cousin from my Scottish teacher grand-mother's side of the family - a Dictionary man)!