Sunday, April 13, 2008

Snow (by Orhan Pamuk)

I read this for our recently resuscitated book group, and it resulted in a really great conversation. Some of us hated it, some of us loved it, some of us couldn't get through it--but it seemed like we all had something to say about it. I personally liked it a lot--the complexity of it (politics plus poetry plus femininity plus identity) and the postmodern elements of the narrative.

It seemed like the more you know about modern Turkey, the more you liked the book--at least in our group. I don't know a lot about Turkish history, don't get me wrong, but I was in Istanbul in 2000 and our tour guide talked a lot about Ataturk, and was at pains to emphasize the "Westernized" and progressive nature of the Islamic culture there. She emphasized it so much, it seemed like she was glossing over something--and this book seems to peek a little bit into the complex issues that make up modern Turkey.

God, this makes it sound boring. I think the story (full of murder, love, betrayal and intrigue... and poetry)is as suspenseful and well told. It is definitely not a boring, dry book. And yet I don't think it's for everyone. So... there you go. Read this in a book group!


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