My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk


I’m thrilled to have in my hands a Nobel Prize winner in Literature, the turkish translation of intrigue in the 16th century in Istanbul. Daunted? Yes.

Michael McGandy picked this book for our Fiction Group, even though he hadn’t finished it. Felt he needed some others to go down this beguiling narrative; not alone.

The back cover of this paperback blurbs include the following comparatives: Shakespeare, Poe, Proust, Mann, Calvino, Borges. Wow. That’s a lot to expect from a novel.  No matter if it won a Nobel.

So I’m ready to go head to head. My head is going to Istanbul. It’s another road trip through a love story, dark mystery, quest into the art world and its real power, religion and spiritualism.

Only 100 pages into the book and each chapter offers a new telling of the tale from a different character’s perspective; including the dog’s. The descriptions of how the first hand copied texts were made with illustrations and mythic illuminations is compelling enough for me to keep reading. Though, like Michael, I know that the questions and confusions aroused by this manuscript will require a lively discussion of its meaning and intent.

The disturbing disappearance of a gilder down the well makes its premise partly a mystery. But the resolution of its tale is clearly much more. This has to do with the history of the WORD, the book, the image. Though where it is going remains part of its appeal.

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Filed under Good Fiction, Just one good reader, Uncategorized

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