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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
6,1181381,122 (3.56)1 / 404
From the award-winning author of 'My Name is Red' comes this political thriller. After 12 years in Germany, a poet Ka returns to Istanbul for his mother's funeral. In a dangerous political atmosphere, the truth concerning the poet and the snow-covered old world city of Kars is revealed.
  1. 30
    The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (SqueakyChu)
    SqueakyChu: Both books provide satire about a man's country
  2. 21
    The Castle by Franz Kafka (Medellia)
  3. 00
    Papa Sartre: A Modern Arabic Novel (Modern Arabic Literature) by Ali Bader (Cecilturtle)
  4. 00
    Blood Tie by Mary Lee Settle (FranklyMyDarling)
    FranklyMyDarling: Another excellent novel set in Turkey; this one centers on the expat community in an Aegean coastal town.
  5. 01
    The People's Act of Love by James Meek (IamAleem)
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English (115)  Dutch (5)  German (5)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Turkish (2)  Swedish (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (137)
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
In this novel the Turkish poet Ka, who has spent 12 years in Frankfurt, returns to Turkey for his mother's funeral and to do research for an article on the situation in Kars in far eastern Turkey. A friend from Istanbul now lives there, and is recently divorced. And through a mysterious narrator (who is...the actual author inserting himself into his novel) and Ka's own perspective, we learn about the Islamists, the Nationalists, the Kurds, the communists, and leftists that are trying to coexist in this city.

Cut off from the rest of the country by a snowstorm, a theatrical coup occurs--and Ka has somehow found himself as a go-between. And for the first time in years, he is writing poems again. Really all he wants is to take Ipek back to Germany with him, so they can live happily ever after and he can publish his new book of poems.

I know there is a lot in this book that I missed. The poet's name (nickname) is Ka. The city is Kars. The title of the book in Turkish is Kar (snow). Obviously this all means something, but what, exactly, I don't know. Do "Kar", "Kars", and "Ka" sound alike in Turkish? The city of Kars has a very different history than most Turkish cities, as it had a Russian garrison in the past, and has a lot of Armenian architecture. Does the setting of a Turkish city with a different history than most Turkish cities to explain the various factions in modern Turkey mean anything? What?

So, then story itself is interesting, but I am certain I missed a fair amount due to lack of cultural and historical knowledge about Turkey. ( )
  Dreesie | Apr 28, 2020 |
Interesting to read now that it is clear that the "head scarf" faction has won in Erdogan's Turkey. I preferred My Name is Red, but a good read nevertheless. ( )
  karatelpek | Apr 9, 2020 |
DNF ( )
  Terrie2018 | Feb 21, 2020 |
Read the first fifty pages of this, but just couldn't get into it. Maybe its the problem of trying to read a book featuring snow in the middle of July. Will try again in winter.
  Gittel | Jan 7, 2020 |
A very complex novel, with many layers, about the pain an exhiliration of love, a small town torn by religious and political divide, its proventiality and pride, its being caught between east and west; police brutality, fear, theater, head scarves, suicide, innocence and corruption. Mesmerizing, rich in detail, empathy and close observation of humans, their beliefs, their gestures. All the while the snow keeps falling, enveloping the town of Ka, the tragedy and the mystery in poetic magic.

Pamuk’s writing evokes Dostoyevsky in its dialogs and Tolstoy in its observation of people; Thomas Mann’s description of places; Garcia Marquez’s magical realism in the relationships of people in the town. An extremely gifted writer, a modern classicist, who brings back the best traditions of the old masters yet makes it his own. ( )
  Gezemice | Oct 29, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (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 (95 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Pamuk, Orhanprimary 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 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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