Snow
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Snow

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3.5 of 5 stars 3.50  ·  rating details  ·  20,910 ratings  ·  2,246 reviews
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...more
Paperback, 463 pages
Published August 2005 by Vintage (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

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Hallie
After finishing this book I felt virtuous, relieved. Then baffled, irritated, and finally dismissive. Other Good Reads reviewers express the desire to like this book, but proceed to be confused, bored, and insecure. Most wrap up with the dismal feeling that they didn’t GET it, and so didn’t succeed in really liking it. I felt the same, but in addition was supremely annoyed and turned off by it. I’m not so good at post-modern fiction to begin with, but I decided to leave my bias at the door becau...more
Nathan James
Nine Reasons I (strongly) disliked this book:

1. The author made himself a character in his story. I just don't like it when they do that. I always wonder if they had writers-block and couldn't invent a fictional character to take the reins.

2. Snowflake diagram of poetry. I'll say no more.

3. The main character is a whiny, infantile, grown man who falls in love with every woman he encounters. As is the narrator whose name happens to be the same as the author, and two of the young men who play hug...more
Darcy
(view spoiler)...more
hadashi
This novel has won a zillion prizes, and has received deafening international acclaim for the way it takes on the clash of the Islamic fundamentalist East & secular West while retaining the humanity of its characters. I disagree.
The book starts out fine, but it devolves into this really odd stream-of-consciousness craziness that feels like a fever dream and makes little sense of events at the end. In addition, the narrator keeps telling you what’s going to happen – big stuff, like deaths, e...more
Liza Bolitzer
I have to say, it's been a while since I liked a novel as much as this one and it's been even longer that I've had the chance to lie on a beach and read for a week, so I will say that you may want to take this review with a grain of sand. Pamuk reminded me of what really defines a novel, what moves it beyond a series of events and into a world and Pamuk's Kars is certainly its own world, full of characters whose degree of nuance is exactly as deep as those in a real place--in life you don't know...more
Zinta
I read a few sample pages of Snow in the bookstore, drawn by its blurry, snowy cover; drawn by a recent New York Times review; drawn by its non-westernized roots in Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk; drawn, too, by curiosity at this recent Nobel Prize winner for literature. The first few pages mesmerized me, the scene of a Turkish poet riding a bus through the snow capturing my imagination even as I left the bookstore.

"The silence of snow, thought the man sitting just behind the bus driver. If this we...more
Kelly
Oct 28, 2009 Kelly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in Turkish politics, soul seekers, outsiders, writers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephanie
I would not have finished this book except for reading it for the book club. I haven't been this bored by a book in a long time.
Nile daughter
I read excellent reviews here ; which convinced me that I can not add any new ! but since I am a Muslim & An Arab ; I could feel a lot of the depth of this book which showed me Turkey with a very cruel -but caring- anatomy that even the brilliant sarcasm made it more painful! By considering this fictional book as a new and useful approach for me to what are not so far different wounds from ours ; I will write my words …

For me ; it is a magnificent novel , a heart breaking one ; discussing th...more
Synesthesia
Say you pay 100 dollars for good seats at a show. You're so excited and full of anticipation. You sit down in your seat and hear the familiar strains of the instruments tuning.
Only for the ensemble to sit, instruments in their hand doing absolutely nothing for 4 minutes and 33 seconds! 4 minutes and 33 seconds of COUGHING, fidgeting and someone shouting "When are they going to start?"
This is how this book is to me. You think it's going to be brilliant because it won a Nobel prize. Surely it shou...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This book came to my attention nearly 4 years ago, soon after I became a member of Goodreads. So, when it came up as an option for this quarter's challenge, I happily put it on my list. I was too stubborn to put it down.

The prose is pedestrian and uninteresting, occasionally boring. There is no real character development. The women are beautiful (or fat), and one of the important, but minor, characters has blue eyes. That doesn't count as character development.

My biggest objection, however, is...more
Lynne King
To have two abandoned books in one evening is not good. In fact this has never happened to me before.

However, I just didn't like this book at all and skimmed through it. The idea of this individual called Ka, a celebrated poet, who goes to Kars reporting on the elections and also checking on girls who commit suicides, I found somewhat bizarre. When I arrived at Chapter 8, "Girls Who Commit Suicide are not Even Muslims", well that just about finished it for me.

In my opinion, there were words leap...more
Ayu Palar
A Turkish poet coming home after his exile in Frankfurt goes to a city named Kars to meet the woman that he loves (or to be exact, he is obsessed with). If you’re familiar with Macondo in 100 Hundred Years of Solitude, you’ll find the same gloomy and mysterious atmosphere in Kars. Although, Kars is much much colder than Macondo since it’s surrounded by nothing but snow.

So, this poet known as Ka decided to visit Kars so that he can meet this beautiful woman called Ipek. While Galip in The Black...more
Luana
Se pensate a come si dice neve in arabo, Kar, capire perché Pamuk abbia ambientato questo romanzo a Kars non vi verrà affatto difficile. Come la neve che scende imperterrita e blocca le strade di Kars, città al confine della
Turchia, ma in realtà, se vogliamo, ai confini del mondo,così i pregiudizi corrodono il pensiero dell'uomo bloccando il processo. Se poi a Pamuk quest'assonanza Kar-Kars manco gli era venuta in mente, mi scuso solennemente col premio Nobel, ma prendo comunque le mosse da que...more
Marieke
This is my fourth Pamuk novel and the more of his work i read, the more i want to read his work. The first one i read, i read in college: The White Castle. All i can remember is that i really liked it and it made me want to read Pamuk (i need to re-read it now). Then a few years out of college, i got My Name is Red and tried to read it. This was well before goodreads and i didn't have anyone to save me from frustration, so i stopped reading it thinking i'd take it up later at some point. I read...more
Elisa
Se penso al velo, mi viene in mente il chiacchiericcio televisivo nostrano sulla legittimità del suo uso da parte delle donne islamiche in territorio europeo. Al di là del legittimo discorso sulla sicurezza pubblica, spuntano come funghi le considerazioni delle donne di turno, interpellate semplicemente in quanto appartenenti al genere femminile (e quindi, capaci di proferir verbo per l'intera categoria, secondo la logica del talk show), sul pericolo che il velo costituisce per la dignità della...more
Tim
This book is gorgeously written, hypnotic, and probably too long. Snow permeates the book, and Pamuk's descriptions have the effect we get from noticing that it is snowing slightly outside--we get a small, pleasurable jolt of surprise that pulls us away from the action briefly. Of action there is much. The characters are trapped in the city of Kars, which serves as an effective external mechanism for putting pressure on them to act and interact. The book starts to get really interesting fairly e...more
Ajeng
Sep 17, 2011 Ajeng rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Readers interested in politics and philosophical narratives
"when they write poems or sing songs in the West, they speak for all humanity. They're human beings -but we're just muslims. When we write something, it's just ethnic poetry."

The idea of the book is the confrontational fonts of east and west, of western secularist and the so-called political Islamist, a term I agree to since their Islamism is shown in the book as a political expression, not a spiritual one. In fact, the book does not speak about Islam as a faith per se, but as a symbol of resist...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Ka, a poet exiled from Turkey, returns to his home country to write about a series of young girls who have been committing suicide in the city of Kars. At least, that is the reason given at the beginning. It gets more complicated once you find out that a woman he has loved also lives there, and is recently divorced.

I was interested in the story of Snow, and of the imagery (how snow masks violence, how snow can be isolating, the uniqueness of snowflakes - these are repeated themes). I was particu...more
Sandy Tjan
Aug 16, 2010 Sandy Tjan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Pamuk/snowflake enthusiasts
Come, come again whoever, whatever you may be
Heathen, fire-worshipper, sinful of idolatry, come
Come even if you broke your penitence a hundred times, come
Ours is not the portal of despair and misery, come.


Inscription on a wall at Rumi’s tomb, Konya, Turkey.

Something strange happened to me in Rumi’s tomb. I’m not sure if it was some kind of a spiritual experience, but there is definitely something spine-tinglingly eerie about it. Listening to the haunting Sufi music while gazing at the richly ca...more
Rawley
This should be required reading for western civilization, or at least for western politicians. Pamuk explains, as well as anyone, the complexities of the East/West divide. As a native of Istanbul, his entire life has toed the line between East and West, and therefor he has that unique perspective to see the issues from both sides that almost all of us lack.

Unlike "The Black Book" which in my opinion would appeal only to a native Turkish audience, "Snow" swept me away. The characters are fascinat...more
Stefania T.
La lettura di "Neve" non può essere ricondotta ad un'esperienza letteraria finalizzata al tentativo di approcciarsi ad una cultura ed una tradizione di un mondo, quello turco e più in generale quello orientale, considerato dall'Occidente come distante ed estraneo.
"Neve" apre, sì, una finestra conoscitiva sulla realtà culturale, politica, religiosa, emotiva e sociale della Turchia, ma, da lettrice, ho avuto la sensazione che... Non fosse questo il punto. Che, in realtà, Pamuk non stesse cercando...more
Erin
Quotes:

"Immersed as he was in the dusky melancholy that had begun descending over the city, he still felt happy. A long procession of images paraded before his eyes as he awaited his next poem - a waking dream of ugly unadorned concrete buildings, parking lots buried in snow, teahouses and barabershops and grocery stores all hidden behind their icy windows, courtyards in which dogs had been barking in unison since the days of he Russians, stores selling spare parts for tractors alongside horse-...more
José-contemplates-Saturn's Aurora

Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse #59
‘O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks veils all over their bodies that is most convenient that they should be known and not molested: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful."






Ka is travelling by bus: a white scenario outside unfolds: it’s snow, relentlessly falling…and he falls asleep.

Ka, or Kerim Alakuşoğlu, a Turkish poet, returns to Kars, an old and small city north-east of Turkey. Kerim, a 42-year-ol...more
Cecilia Baader
Jun 25, 2007 Cecilia Baader rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: european intelligentsia
"The third act began with Funda Eser singing a folk song about a woman who'd been raped, an engaging number to make up for earlier parts of the drama that the audience had found too intellectual or otherwise obscure." And so with a single sentence Pamuk explains his novel Snow, last year's Nobel Prize winner. Snow centers on a Turkish poet who returns to his homeland to write an article about the girls who keep committing suicide in Kars, an isolated village far from Istanbul.

Kars is experiencin...more
Nancy
This book was a disappointment—essentially boring and the love stories immature. The most intriguing thing about the book was that he interjects himself into the novel at the end. Also that he gets by without writing poetry by having Ka’s manuscript lost. The motif of snow and how he maintains it throughout the book is appealing as well as the insight into Turkish culture. None of that is enough to overcome the plodding and drawn out pace of the book however.
lita
Apa yang menyebabkan orang bunuh diri? Jawabannya bisa bermacam-macam. Tapi satu asumsi akan muncul jika bunuh diri itu dilakukan secara beruntun oleh penduduk di suatu tempat dan dilakukan oleh orng yang memiliki ciri yang spesifik: perempuan muda yang berjilbab.

Kasus bunuh diri tersebut terjadi di sebuah kota kecil di Turki bernama Kars. Peristiwa tersebut menarik Ka, seorang penyair Turki yang lari dari negaranya karena ideologi yang dia anut: atheisme.

Pertentangan antara kaum sekuler (yang...more
Danielle
Interesting read.. fits and starts... disappointing.. the flowery language seemed unnecessary and got in the way of the narrative.. I did not enjoy the change in perspective about 3/4 through, from third person omniscient to first person. This could have been done a lot more smoothly.

This book had 2 or 3 things going for it. The story really is interesting, if you can get past some of the silliness. Ka has something to say, if you can get past his naivete and narrow-mindedness. And there are som...more
Chaitra
This is going to be a rant, even more so because this book is written by Nobel Prize Winner, honored for how he represents Turkey in his books. It made the NY Times Best Books for 2004. Where is the saving grace of this piece of junk trying to pass itself as a novel?

Ka, the pompous main character is probably the vilest creation I've come across in a while. That's an achievement, given how much I dislike most protagonists. This idiot is an exile, who comes back to Turkey for his mother's funeral....more
Saxon
Nov 20, 2007 Saxon rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in modern turkey
Shelves: school
I heard alot about Pamuk. He seems to be gracing the A&C sections of all the periodicals that I frequently read. This has sparked an interest in him for quite some time now. This is the first novel that I have read of his, Snow was assigned for my Novel on the Globe course.
Unfortunately, Snow proved slightly disappointing. After a lengthy in-class discussion, I pinpointed my troubles with the novel down the three main things that can be easily summed up:

*way too episodic and often times feel...more
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1728
Ferit Orhan Pamuk is a Nobel Prize-winning Turkish novelist. Pamuk is often regarded as a post-modern writer. As one of Turkey's most prominent novelists, his work has been translated into more than forty languages. He is the recipient of numerous national and international literary awards. He was the first Turkish person awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature on October 12, 2006, commended for bei...more
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“How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known?” 359 likes
“There are two kind of men,' said Ka, in a didatic voice. 'The first kind does not fall in love until he's seen how the girls eats a sandwich, how she combs her hair, what sort of nonsense she cares about, why she's angry at her father, and what sort of stories people tell about her. The second type of man -- and I am in this category -- can fall in love with a woman only if he knows next to nothing about her.” 134 likes
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