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Thread: Orhan Pamuk

  1. #81
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Orhan Pamuk

    Try White Castle. It's an early novel and much shorter than his later ones.
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  2. #82

    Default Re: Orhan Pamuk

    Quote Originally Posted by Liam View Post
    Can you post the Turkish one?

    Also, which of his books would be a good place to start? I saw his memoir about Istanbul in the "used" section of my bookstore yesterday for cheap, but something tells me it wouldn't be a perfect intro to this author--
    People consider his two best works My Name is Red and The Black Book.

  3. #83
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    NYC, USA

    Default Re: Orhan Pamuk

    Thank you, both!

  4. #84
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Orhan Pamuk

    A Strangeness in My Mind

    At face value this is a wonderful slice of life story about life in Turkey in the last few decades, but in my opinion it is much more than that. It is a novel that depicts the efforts of the less privileged people who leave home every day trying to earn enough money to make ends meet. The main protagonist, Mevlut Karatas, is a boy from Anatolia who together with his father moves to Istanbul in the late 60s to start a new life, dreaming of becoming rich one day and having a comfortable life, but the narrator makes it clear from the beginning that they will stay poor for the rest of their lives, struggling every single day to make enough money to feed their family, while their relatives who came to Istanbul along with them make a fortune. It gets tougher every day as less and less people are interested in boza, a popular drink in the Ottoman Empire which is the main source of income for Mevlut and his father.

    What made this book particularly interesting for me is that it is narrated by different people: the omniscient narrator and the characters themselves. Pretty often one character will start narrating the chapter and then jump to another character or the objective omniscient narrator, which makes it feel as if one is reading the script to a documentary about the main character and his friends and relatives, or to be more precise as if you are sitting together with Pamuk and the characters at a table like good friends, while they're telling you everything about Mevlut's life, his struggles, family life in Turkey, sharing their own experiences as wives, husbands, parents etc. Now if they were talking about a freak like the main character of Museum of Innocence (which I admitedly haven't read yet but I've considered reading it so I've done some research) I'd change the topic of conversation instantly, but Mevlut is a very very sympathetic character and I became attached to him right away so I couldn't help but read it all the way to the end as if I were reading about a long-lost childhood friend.

    Frankly, this novel is not a page turner and from time to time I kept putting it aside, only to grab it a couple of days later. Whether this was due to the size (700 pages) or a different reason, I don't know. Now that I finished it I do wish it was longer.

    I think this is a very fine postmodernist novel, probably one of Pamuk's best and I can't really compare it to his other great works since I think they're too different to be compared. But out of the novels he wrote after winning the Nobel, I don't think he has written a better one. I've read The Red-Haired Woman and while it was an enjoyable novel I'm afraid that people who are not very keen on learning all about the craft of well digging might not really like that one. As for The Museum of Innocence, I haven't read it and judging by the descriptions of that book and the countless reviews I've read, I'm not going to pick it up anytime soon.
    Last edited by kadare; 08-Jul-2017 at 12:13.

  5. #85

    Default Re: Orhan Pamuk

    A wonderful little reflection on the book Kadare. I'm planning on reading it this year. It is on my list of books to buy and finally delve into after having read My Name is Red last year (which I want to re-read!). Thank you for the reminder.

  6. #86

    Liberia Re: Orhan Pamuk

    It the most depressing situation when you can't even count inn. PhenQ

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