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Extended Audio Sample The Snake Stone: A Novel Audiobook, by Jason Goodwin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (676 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jason Goodwin Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Yashim the Eunuch Series Release Date: March 2009 ISBN: 9781400180110
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Detective, polyglot, chef, eunuch-Investigator Yashim returns in this evocative Edgar Award–winning series set in Istanbul at the end of the Ottoman Empire. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elizabeth Hunter | 2/15/2014

    " The Ottoman Empire feels like a great gap in my understanding of the history of the world, which I've tried to fix over the past decade. Jason Goodwin's Lords of the Horizon was one of non-fiction histories I read and I've enjoyed his move into fictionalizing the declining days of the Empire. Set in 1830's Istanbul, The Snake Stone, like The Janissary Tree before it, explores not only the solutions to crimes, but the culture and politics of the moment, from the perspective of eternal outsider Yashim, a eunuch of the city. His tastes--from the beautiful food that he makes using simple tools, to his weakness for French women--and his friends in places high and low allow the reader a sense of what life was like in a time and place very different from our own. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tiffany | 2/14/2014

    " Jason Goodwin certainly makes me want to go to Istanbul, but I'm not convinced he's all that good at writing mysteries. Overly-complicated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carolyn | 1/26/2014

    " Yashim is an unwilling detective in the Ottoman Empire, as the sultan is on his death bed. This mystery centers on the events of the battle in Greece where Byron died, and lost Byzantine treasures. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky Maynard | 12/21/2013

    " Love this character, love this series of book. The author loves and respects language, history and culture. He weaves a good tale! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvie | 12/14/2013

    " Very interesting period of history, and Yashim is a very likeable character! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeremiah | 11/24/2013

    " A fun mystery set in Istanbul a few centuries back. Very atmospheric "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Scott Burton | 11/24/2013

    " The first book I read in this series was the Janissary Tree. I enjoyed it more than this one. This novel felt disjointed. There were too many asides that diverted and distracted me. For example, Goodwin clearly enjoys supplying the reader with detailed descriptions of food preparation. Sounded yummy, but I'll read a cookbook if that's what I'm in the mood for. I never felt that the characters were more than props, so I never connected to the characters--even Yashim was much more shallow than in the first. All in all, this tale was a disappointment. I'll give the series another try, but it will be based on my experience with the Janissary Tree rather than the Snake Stone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 11/5/2013

    " What I like about this series is that the mystery is nicely written. Its not so obvious and you can certainly piece together the evidence as Yashim does. You have all the pieces, but they don't quite fit right. As Yashim says in this book: you're trying to remember an old recipe just by taste, you have all the ingredients in front of you but something doesn't quite taste right. And that's what I love about this series. It keeps you thinking. Not to mention Yashim is a great narrator. He is a lala in the community, a guardian, a man of honesty and trust. People trust him and that makes him damn near invisible (perfect for an investigator). The only thing I wish this book had was more Preen. Her story intrigues me and I hope Goodwin develops her story a bit in the next book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacky | 10/21/2013

    " Another very good outing for yashim "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deena | 10/3/2013

    " Like the last one, the "mystery" is not the reason to read this - although I thought this one was better crafted than the last, in that regard. But for the history and ambiance, it's worth reading anyway, and I still like Yashim. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ma'lis Wendt | 7/30/2013

    " These mysteries with Yashim, the Eunuch, place you right in 19th century Istanbul with all its complexities and conspiries. Perfect vacation reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chip | 7/24/2013

    " I enjoyed this companion to The Janissary Tree. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rita Vandenburgh | 7/24/2013

    " Yashim is, again, wonderful. Nother great adventure in 1830's Istambul. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelli Tarala | 4/6/2013

    " Great way to learn about Istanbul history. The characters and rich and fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 2/1/2013

    " If you are interested in a bizarre mystery set in istanbul with many ancient historical reference, then this is a good book. I read the book with wikipedia open and learned quite a bit about Constantinople. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristen Gurri | 12/9/2012

    " Heard about this book from NPR's Mystery in the City series. Beautiful book, lets the mind travel Lots of sensory detail but not ponderous or contrived. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niki Ganong | 9/3/2012

    " Loved this hsitorical mystery that takes place in Ottoman Istanbul. I must if you are going. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terry | 7/12/2012

    " The setting, characters, time period, and plot made this an exotic read. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the mystery, though the author was heavy handed in references to the history of Istanbul. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Betty | 4/2/2012

    " A very interesting glimpse of a time and place in the past, placed in Istanbul, and area that was the center of Western culture for centuries... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cyd | 3/6/2012

    " His first book was better. I like Yashim and all the interesting things that happen in Istanbul, but the mystery itself was a little confusing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brenda Hawley | 6/10/2011

    " I've read 3 books from this series and I just cannot get into the main character nor the settings. Not badly written but just not that interesting for me when there are so many other books out there. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Wog | 5/19/2011

    " I so wanted to like this book but couldn't get into it. Stopped reading about half way through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 5/18/2011

    " This was my intro to this series set in the Ottoman Empire in the 1840s featuring an eunuch problem solver. Looking forward to the rest of the series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 5/17/2011

    " Istanbul mystery. Part of the "Investigator Yashim" series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 4/26/2011

    " This was my intro to this series set in the Ottoman Empire in the 1840s featuring an eunuch problem solver. Looking forward to the rest of the series. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 HKd | 3/31/2011

    " I was really looking forward to this as I loved The Jannissary Tree. I still enjoyed Yashim and the cooking but the mystery part was very disjointed and the resolution was disappointing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sidney | 3/26/2011

    " Evocative, with one of the most wonderful protagonists in ages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phyllis | 1/26/2011

    " This book didn't engage me quite as thoroughly as the previous one, The Janissary Tree. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 1/25/2011

    " Terrific sequel to The Janissary Tree. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 11/10/2010

    " Equally delightful as The Janissary Tree, largely set in the underground cisterns beneath the city, cisterns I've toured. Very cool. Inspector Yahim is a great detective, oh, and he's a eunuch. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe | 8/21/2010

    " This is just fun.
    I have never seen Istanbul, now I feel like I would enjoy a trip..and the food.
    Jason Goodwin has a very entertaining style, an ease with telling a fast paced story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Willowwind | 5/12/2010

    " An entertaining new venue (Istanbul in the 1860's) with lots of opportunity for convoluted plot and a very sympathetic protagonist. Looking forward to more of these. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ma'lis | 4/22/2010

    " These mysteries with Yashim, the Eunuch, place you right in 19th century Istanbul with all its complexities and conspiries. Perfect vacation reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rita | 2/13/2010

    " Yashim is, again, wonderful. Nother great adventure in 1830's Istambul. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emily | 2/11/2010

    " It was ok, but very confusing. I never fully understand what was happening throughout the book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dildar | 11/11/2009

    " A fun introduction to Constantinople in Bzyantine times.... "

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About the Author
Author Jason Goodwin

Jason Goodwin is the author of Lords of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire, A Time for Tea: Through China and India in Search of Tea, and On Foot to the Golden Horn, among others. He lives in Sussex, England, with his wife and four children.

About the Narrator

Stephen Hoye has worked as a professional actor in London and Los Angeles for more than thirty years. Trained at Boston University and the Guildhall in London, he has acted in television series and six feature films and has appeared in London’s West End.