Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Orhan Pamuk's The Black Book is a must-read

The Black Book

Orhan Pamuk doesn't mince with words; he plays with them.

In what many people call "his masterpiece," The Black Book weaves the story of young lawyer, Galip Bey, and the mysterious life of one newspaper columnist who happens to be his cousin and his wife's ex-husband.

Pamuk, among the best of Turkey's writers and winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature, employs rich imagery, unique story lines, and unheard-of plots. It's not an easy read, this book, because it is so overwhelming that many times I had to pause in between paragraphs to swallow what I had just read.

Galip Bey finds out that his wife, Ruya, had left him. Except for a short note written in green ink, Galip didn't see that coming. He searches for her, until he realizes Ruy a may have gone to Celal, her ex-husband.

The story is set in the backdrop of political chaos and financial instability, problems plaguing Turkey in the 1980's. Pamuk shows his ingenuity when he intersperses the novel with little stories from minor characters. Which is why my favorite is Chapter 15, Love Stories on a Snowy Evening, because this is where the people that Galip meets in a bar each tell their stories.

If only Pamuk's books were cheaper, I'd buy all of them.

Update Jan 13—It's Orhan, not Orham . . . and I needed Paul Balite to tell me that.

1 comment:

  1. talaga bang molecular biology major ka??? eh bakit dami mo nababasa? at nag twi twitter ka pa? hahahah :) palit tayo, pabasa ko sa you a thousand splendid suns ni khaleid husseini...asa province copy ko ng kite runner eh :)

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