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Snow by Orhan Pamuk
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Snow (2002)

by Orhan Pamuk

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,353126819 (3.58)1 / 375
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English (105)  German (5)  Dutch (4)  French (3)  Turkish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Danish (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (125)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
exasperatingly slow at times but an interesting story ( )
  viviennestrauss | Mar 14, 2016 |
Ka, an exiled poet returns to his childhood town after living in Germany for many years. His initial purpose in returning is to write an article about the wave of suicides among religious girls in Kars. As the story progresses, his reasons for returning home become more complex and include the search for meaning and love. During his investigation he becomes entangled in a complicated political situation in which he finds himself pulled in multiple directions between modern secularism and Islamic fundamentalism and East vs. West.

Once again I’m at a loss of how to rate this book. I didn’t enjoy it much, but I appreciated it. The book makes you uncomfortable as it raises issues of identity, meaning, and religious values. This was a reread for me but honestly the only thing I remember from the first read was that I found it very difficult to become engaged in the book and I still struggled with this during the reread. The amount of political dialogue was tedious (for me) although does provide the reader with some interesting insight into the socio-political situation in Turkey. The contrast between the farcical, theatrical moments and the context of poverty, violence, and unhappiness was striking and part of what creates a sense of unease in the reader. I had difficulty connecting with the main character for a variety of reasons and despite the fact that the there were many plot developments, I found myself bored fairly often. I did like the use of snow for a metaphor although I was disappointed that Ka’s poems (particularly “snow”) were not included in the book. ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
Snow Orhan Pamuk
★★★★
Snow tells the story of the Turkish writer Ka. Ka has been a political exile in Germany and has just recently returned to Turkey, he is assigned the job of traveling to a small outlying town called Kars to cover the local elections where an Islamic fundamentalist party is poised to win and where Muslim girls have been committing suicide as they are banned from wearing their headscarves to school.
When Ka arrives in Kars a blizzard sets in cutting the town off from the outside world. The reader knows something bad is going to happen and unease is built up through political tensions in the town and the attitudes of the different people Ka meets.
This is an uneasy read about the dangerous nature of small towns where political power is unstable and whoever wins the election at least one section of society will suffer a horrible fate.
More than just a political thriller though this is a book about love and poetry and one that has left me wanting to understand more about Turkey and the way it is caught between the ideals of the west and the philosophies of the east.
I would recommend this book not for enjoyment but for the fact it will unsettle you and stay with you ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
It's taken me a number of attempts to get into this to read. I loved My Name is Red and White Castle so I'm not sure why I found this so difficult. I don't think I was gripped in the first few pages and, as a result, wasn't that attached to the characters. Ka was someone I found it very difficult to relate to and while I was sympathetic, I couldn't get to that point of being excited or concerned about his actions. I appreciate that this is very well written but it wasn't particularly gripping for me. ( )
  sashinka | Jan 14, 2016 |
Politics and poetry- a very enchanting combination. This book's cast of characters gives life and charm to the factions of Turkish society. Though the author (speaking through one of the characters) insists that the story shines no real light on Kars and its people, I feel that I got a glimpse of the complex and unique nature of modern Turkey. Not a full knowledge, but a brief fascinating glimpse. It offers an interesting perspective on head scarves and women's rights. It does not take sides in the argument - rather gives voice to both perspectives. Other topics include religion & society, Westernization, security & freedom, democracy, and the nature of writing. Yet, it is not really a novel about Turkey and its political climate. That is the setting, the social backdrop for a story about a man experiencing the euphoria and disorientation of a homecoming after an extended absence. ( )
  Alidawn | Jan 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
This seventh novel from the Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk is not only an engrossing feat of tale-spinning, but essential reading for our times.
 

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Orhan Pamukprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Anna PolatTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bertolini, MartaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carpintero Ortega, RafaelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Citak, ManuelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dorleijn, MargreetTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freely, MaureenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gall, JohnCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gezgin, ŞemsaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heijden, Hanneke van derTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kojo, TuulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Our interest's on the dangerous edge of things.
The honest thief, the tender murderer,
The superstitious atheist.
- Robert Browning, 'Bishop Blougram's Apology'
Politics in a literary work are a pistol-shot in the middle of a concert, a crude affair though one impossible to ignore. We are about to speak of very ugly matters.
- Stendhal, The Charterhouse of Parma
Well, then, eliminate the people, curtain them, force them to be silent. Because the European Enlightenment is more important than people.
- Feyodor Dostoevsky, Notebooks for The Brothers Karamazov
The Westerner in me was discomposed.
- Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes
Dedication
To Rüya
First words
The silence of the snow, thought the man sitting just behind the bus driver. If this were the beginning of a poem, he would have called the thing he felt inside him the silence of the snow.
Quotations
...Heaven was the place where you kept alive the dreams of your memories. (p. 296)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375706860, Paperback)

Dread, yearning, identity, intrigue, the lethal chemistry between secular doubt and Islamic fanaticism–these are the elements that Orhan Pamuk anneals in this masterful, disquieting novel. An exiled poet named Ka returns to Turkey and travels to the forlorn city of Kars. His ostensible purpose is to report on a wave of suicides among religious girls forbidden to wear their head-scarves. But Ka is also drawn by his memories of the radiant Ipek, now recently divorced. Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, Ka finds himself pursued by figures ranging from Ipek’s ex-husband to a charismatic terrorist. A lost gift returns with ecstatic suddenness. A theatrical evening climaxes in a massacre. And finding god may be the prelude to losing everything else. Touching, slyly comic, and humming with cerebral suspense, Snow is of immense relevance to our present moment.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:58:35 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

After years of lonely political exile, Turkish poet Ka returns to Istanbul to attend his mother's funeral and learns about a series of suicides among pious girls forbidden to wear headscarves.

» see all 6 descriptions

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