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Orhan Pamuk

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Houston, Texas
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Orhan Pamuk

Reviews on his "Istanbul" novel, please.

Finike, Turkey
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1. Re: Orhan Pamuk

"Istanbul" is not a novel. Orhan pamuk describes the atmosphere of Istanbul through his youth souvenirs.

Ruhr Area, Germany
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2. Re: Orhan Pamuk

Sorry, but I have forgotten to send you this link:

complete-review.com/reviews/…istanbul.htm

But you should read as well this novel: Museum of Innocence, I liked it even more although it is very different

http://themuseumofinnocence.com/

Enjoy

patara01

Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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3. Re: Orhan Pamuk

I loved Museum of Innocence, but I had to fight may way through some of his other books. It must have taken me nearly a week to read Snow. Ultimately I finally figured out the literary conventions and everything made more sense. I think that all that snow made it depressing for me.

I did like that book because of that clever place where the editor of the newspaper announces that the central character will read his poem "Snow", but the central character has not written such a poem. The newspaper editor says something like some people do not like the newspaper because we write the news before it happens, but some things happen only because we have written that they have happened. It reminds me of the sad state of US journalism in the Twitter age.

Sharon, you need to check out the sticky at the top of the page. There are enough favorite books there to keep you busy for a long time.

Edited: 4:16 am, January 28, 2011
London, United...
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4. Re: Orhan Pamuk

It is a beautiful book. I read it both in Turkish and English and the English translation is excellent, thanks to the translator Maureen Freely who is an author herself and the daughter of John Freely. It is a melancholic look at the author's own childhood and life in Istanbul and his family, written beautifully.

I would recommend it wholeheartedly for anyone who loves Istanbul or considering visiting the city.

Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Orhan Pamuk

I enjoyed the tone and content of the book, but also the photos and illustrations. I often look for books in places I visit that have vintage photos.

They have made excellent sourvenirs. Kind of my mind's "before and after".

Paphos, Cyprus
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6. Re: Orhan Pamuk

What about "The Black Book"? I bought it very recently, anticipating my first visit to Istanbul in April 2011.

Trisha

Gocek, Turkey
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7. Re: Orhan Pamuk

The Black Book is a pretty difficult novel to read per se! The author was not happy with the first translation into English either and his now regular translator, Maureen Freely, translated it again a few years ago.

I think that to appreciate Pamuk's fiction one needs to have some understanding of Islamic beliefs and the history of both the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey.

None of his novels are easy reading; personally I'd start by reading "Istanbul" and then, if you want to pass on to his fiction output, "Snow", which has a more linear narrative and is quite accessible.

Paphos, Cyprus
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8. Re: Orhan Pamuk

The copy I have is the Maureen Freely translation. I do have a good understanding of Islamic beliefs, and I am halfway through "From the Holy Mountain" by William Dayrymple - so learning all the time!

As I've already got it, I'll see how I get on!

Thanks for the response.

Trisha

Gocek, Turkey
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9. Re: Orhan Pamuk

Okay - from what I remember Dalrymple was not very complimentary about his Turkish sojourn in that book!

I trust and hope your stay will prove him mistaken.

Edited: 11:47 am, January 31, 2011
Surrey, UK
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10. Re: Orhan Pamuk

Another good book to read if you get the chance before you go is Portrait of a Turkish Family by Urfan Orga. It has the same sort of melancholic love of the city that Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul has but is more accessible.