City of Djinns has ratings and reviews. Warwick said: Delhi is lucky to have William Dalrymple as a chronicler – not many cities get such exemp. Sparkling with irrepressible wit, City of Djinns peels back the layers of Delhi’s centuries-old history, revealing an extraordinary array of characters. May 27, Author: William Dalrymple Pages: Published in the year: Publishers: Penguin Genre: Non-fiction/ Memoir For Dalrymple, who has.

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At one point, he beautifully concludes a discussion on how wiilliam architecturally exquisite constructions of British time, are also tragic reminders of Lutyen’s condescension and his broad dislike for everything Indian What a spectacular book! The scope of the book is in At the still wet-behind-the-ears age of twenty-five, Dalrymple and his wife went to live in Delhi, vity this amazing book is the result of his first year in the city.

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City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi

I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love it. See comment 14 for more info. City of Djinns 1 6 Feb 04, I have visited few monuments but i never felt anything cuty about them. There has never been a more vivid and beautiful description of this city, with so much research and with such accuracy. Oct 20, gurpreet kaur rated it it was amazing. Here was a man capable of building some of the most beautiful structures created in the modern world, but whose prejudices blinded him to the beauty of the Taj Mahal; a man who could fuse the best of East and West while denying that the Eastern elements in his own buildings were beautiful.


There was no relief except to shower with bottles of cold water from Mrs Puri’s fridge Brilliant as usual, of course. This book was ciy least alluring – ancient Delhi was more fascinating to me than contemporary travel writing.

They pinch men’s buttocks, purposely make buffoons of themselves, but are quick to take offence. Secondly, Dalrymple has made serious efforts to dalrgmple the city’s past starting from the first inhabitants of the city to the post-independence era.

CITY OF DJINNS by William Dalrymple | Kirkus Reviews

Great Beauty and grandeur hidden amidst everyday squalor – a city that is as fine as the very greatest cities, yet living in the most prosaic manner, with hardly a nod to its own history. Dalrymple speaks to a few Anglo-Indians who survived that period, and their inputs are quite telling. Especiallymeeting with descendants of the historical figures and their reaction about different issues was the most thought provoking part.

Of Mughal Emperors, Samosas, and Chai. If you ever happen to visit the city, sitting on the ramparts of a fort or marvelling the intricate designs of a palace, or being blessed by the saints in one of the mosques, the djinns will most definitely bring to life snippets from this book. They arrive in the City of Djinns in September of Basically william has written in travel book style so you feel the same way as you are also traveling those places.

The author is dalrymplw critical, except when he talks about the neglect by the Indian authorities of important archaeological sites or his harrowing experience at the customs.

Yet, the author observes that this outward refinement in art and etiquette was a cover for some of the most crude and heinous of crimes committed. To one brought up on a diet of starch English reserve this habitual kindness of the Delhi-wallah was as touching as it was strange. Teeth-grinding horror episodes of 84 Sikh riots and his conviction to dalrypmle truth behind the story of Mahabharata capture imagination to seemingly endless degree.


Even the date of the wedding has to be astrologically chosen, and this can result in wedding jams, with everyone trying to get married at more or less the same time. In the Old City men set up small roadside stalls around big earthenware pots containing ‘jal jeera’, a dark, spicy, green liquid which burns the mouth but cools the body He starts describing Delhi right from her very birth and the saga continues till the modern times.

Overall, a really good book.

Perhaps, the incestuous advances of Emperor Shah Jahan towards his daughter Jahanara could have been hinted at in our text books! It is most fascinating when Dalrymple describes an ancient monument or place and then visits it in person to observe what it looks like.

Even so, it is all hugely readable. India is a developing country. He has o studied the accounts of various travelers who wrote about the then society, the state of music and art, the clandestine diplomacy inside the courtrooms, etc. I’d love to live in Delhi.

The entire endeavour brims with passion, and equally impressive is the maturity and restraint that Dalrymple brings to his excellent writing. Jun 14, Shadin Pranto rated it liked it.