May 6, 2016

Snow by Orhan Pamuk

Pamuk's Nobel Prize in Lit cannot possibly be a result of this book.  If it is, I don't get it.

1) Ka, the main character, is a weak, whiny little pith of a man and I honestly do not like him.  Furthermore, he falls in love with alarming rapidity.  It is basically insta-love.  No thanks.  He talks about being scared ALL THE TIME, to people he doesn't even really know, and is supposedly there to be investigating suicidal girls.  I get things are kind of weird but calm the eff down already.  We get you are the nervous sort.

2) The Turkish political situation is interesting, but it is explained very randomly.  Maybe this is something in the translation, but it will be repetitive conversations (ugh) and then an info dump. 

3) There isn't really any glue holding this story together.  It is a very long list of things that Ka experiences and his reactions to them.  Okay so it is a character-driven novel, fine, but since I don't like Ka, I don't really want 400+ pages of that.

4) I got really tired of the talk of snow.  Yes, I know that is the name of the book, but it was really a lot about snow - and always the same 3 thoughts about snow.  As you can see, the repetition got to me quite a bit.

5) I enjoyed reading the debates on whether women should wear head scarves or not and what is happening to them at school, at home, in their minds, at their mosque, with their friends, etc.  Once again, however, the same conversations were had over and over without new information being added or so little that I felt I wasted my time reading that chapter.

6) I would love to read about the politics v. religion, tradition v. modernity of Turkish culture and Islam, but I don't think this was the book to experience this.

Do you have any recommendations for books with similar themes that I might enjoy more?

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