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Book Title: The Sultan's Harem|
The author of the book: Colin Falconer
ISBN 13: 9780609610305
Date of issue: July 13th 2004
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 7.46 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.9
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From the author of the critically acclaimed When We Were Gods comes a dramatic, unforgettable novel of cruelty and passion set in the great Harem of the Ottoman empire.
In Constantinople there is only one ruler: Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, Lord of Lords of this World, Possessor of Men’s Necks, Allah’s Deputy, absolute ruler of the mighty Ottoman Empire. And at the heart of his palace is the Sultan’s vast Harem, the domain of hundreds of scented, pampered women—some wives, some concubines, some merely slaves. Among them is Gulbehar, the Sultan’s submissive favorite and mother of his heir; Julia, the daughter of an Italian lord, kidnapped when she attempted to flee Venice with her lover; and Hürrem, a Tartar girl from the Russian steppes, sold into slavery.
All three women are beautiful, but Hürrem is the most dangerous—ruthless in her desire to rule the Harem and, ultimately, Suleyman himself. Endlessly manipulative and clever, she carefully arranges the downfall of her rivals and endears herself to the Sultan, which places her at the center of the Empire’s power. It is his obsession with Hürrem—not his enemies—that costs Suleyman his allies, his sons, and finally his dynasty.
Bestselling author Colin Falconer offers an irresistible glimpse into a world of intrigue, sensuality, and violence, where an empire can be controlled not by the might of its ruler, but by the women hidden behind the Harem walls.
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“I was 18 years old, I’d just left school and got a job in London, working in an insurance company. I was working inside - in an office! My mother thought that was like being CEO of Shell Oil.
“I was late one morning, I took a short cut through the church yard to the station to catch my train. I’d just finished reading The Sun Also Rises the night before; and here I was looking at all these gravestones, I remember thinking: Gee, we’re not here very long. Better make it count.
“So I went home, told my mother I was quitting my job and going to Morocco. She damned near fainted.”
After travelling through Spain and Africa, Colin hitch-hiked across Europe to Sweden to visit a girlfriend he’d met the year before on a football tour.
When he finally got back home, he was still restless. After failing to make the grade as a professional football player, he travelled around Asia; his experiences in Bangkok and India later inspired his thriller VENOM, and his adventures in the jungles of the Golden Triangle of Burma and Laos were also filed away for later, the basis of his OPIUM series about the underworld drug trade.
He emigrated to Australia where he helped a mate establish a new advertising agency. “We could only afford this derelict building for an office. Once we were pitching to a client during a thunderstorm and the roof flooded. A piece of the ceiling fell down and just missed his head. Fortunately he had a sense of humour. We got the account!
“After a couple of years we were doing much better. We could even afford to pay ourselves a wage! But I really wanted to be a writer, not a copywriter. When I told my mate I was leaving to try my luck in the Big Smoke, he offered me 40% of the business. It was 40% of nothing at the time. I saw him a couple of years ago, and he’d just sold the agency for twenty million dollars. I worked out what 40% of that was on a pocket calculator. It’s quite a lot of money, apparently.”
Colin went to Sydney and worked in TV and radio and freelanced for many of Australia’s leading newspapers and magazines. But he got his dream, publishing over a dozen novels in the UK and US and having his work sold into translation in Brazil, Belgium, the Czech republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain and Turkey.
He lived for many years in the beautiful Margaret River region in WA, and helped raise two beautiful daughters with his late wife, Helen.
While writing, he also worked in the volunteer ambulance service. “I’d be at my desk typing, then thirty minutes later I might be crawling into an overturned car or running along a beach with the oxygen for a near drowning. It was an interesting time.”
His marriage ended in tragic circumstances, a story he has told in ‘The Naked Husband,’ and its non-fiction sequel, ‘The Year We Seized the Day,’ written with a writing partner, Elizabeth Best.
He travels regularly to research his novels and his quest for authenticity has led him to run with the bulls in Pamplona, pursue tornadoes across Oklahoma and black witches across Mexico, go cage shark diving in South Africa and get tear gassed in a riot in La Paz. (He was actually trying to cycle down the Death Road. In the end he had to abandon the attempt and take the bus down.) He also completed a nine hundred kilometre walk of the camino in Spain.
A few years ago he stopped writing. ‘I suddenly found I couldn’t do it anymore. It was after‘The Year We Seized the Day.’ I was ridden with guilt and I remember standing on a beach in Thailand late one night, and I said to God: ‘Okay I’ve had enough now.’
A week later I was in a Thai hospital, only time in my whole life I’ve ever been sick, I’d got some sort of tropical infection and I was close to multiple organ failure. I remember praying again (that’s twice in one year!): “Hey I didn’t know you were listening, Big Guy! I didn’t mean it! I have two girls to look out for!”
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