City of Djinns : A Year in Delhi, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


'Could you show me a djinn?' I asked. 'Certainly,' replied the Sufi. 'But you would run away.' From the author of the Samuel Johnson prize shortlisted 'The Return of a King', this is William Dalrymple's captivating memoir of a year spent in Delhi, a city watched over and protected by the mischievous invisible djinns.

Lodging with the beady-eyed Mrs Puri and encountering an extraordinary array of characters - from elusive eunuchs to the last remnants of the Raj - William Dalrymple comes to know the bewildering city intimately.

He pursues Delhi's interlacing layers of history along narrow alleys and broad boulevards, brilliantly conveying its intoxicating mix of mysticism and mayhem. 'City of Djinns' is an astonishing and sensitive portrait of a city, and confirms William Dalrymple as one of the most compelling explorers of India's past and present.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages, 15 b/w illus
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Travel writing
  • ISBN: 9780006375951



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

The eccentric, colourful and entertaining characters that Dalrymple meets make this book what it is. Recommended for anyone knows Delhi and its people, and those about to visit for the first time.

Review by

Very good. Fantastic evocation of place. Dalrymple is intoxicated by Delhi and it's history and the book captures that sense of wonder beautifully.

Review by

An enjoyable romp back through the history the history of Delhi as Dalrymple experiences the city and its environs over the course of a year (about 1990). The history is interesting, as I did not know much at all about the Mughal past and that these invaders were a Muslim warrior caste that ruled over a Hindu population. However, the colour provided by Dalrymple's research and meetings with locals are what make the book a joy to read and live as more than an historical account.

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