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3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  28,501 Ratings  ·  2,813 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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Shaista Banu All through the book one can see that Ka's character, like that of most people in real-life, is flawed. His personal thoughts also reflect that. Add…moreAll through the book one can see that Ka's character, like that of most people in real-life, is flawed. His personal thoughts also reflect that. Add to that his desperation for Ipek and his intense desire to take her back to Germany with him. Considering these, it is quite possible for him to have revealed Blue's location to the police. Complacent and listless he may have seemed, but what strikes more after his meeting with Ipek is his desperation for a happy life. So, doesn't come across as contradictory to me. (less)

Community Reviews

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Jan 08, 2014 Hallie rated it did not like it
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 ...more
N W James
Jan 07, 2014 N W James rated it did not like it
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
Dec 17, 2009 Darcy rated it it was amazing
(view spoiler) ...more
Jan 07, 2014 hadashi rated it it was ok
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
Liza Bolitzer
Jan 08, 2014 Liza Bolitzer rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 12, 2013 Zinta rated it really liked it
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
Spider the Doof Warrior
Jun 13, 2015 Spider the Doof Warrior rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-hate-this-book
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
Bill  Kerwin
Feb 27, 2016 Bill Kerwin rated it liked it

The expatriate poet Ka returns to his native Turkey ostensibly to investigate a growing number of suicides among "head scarf girls" for an article in a German newspaper, but actually to reconnect with the beautiful divorcee Ipek whom he knew in college. While there, he is caught up in religious and political intrigue.

I thought the book was too long, and the characters didn't interest me much, but I really liked the way Nobel prize winner Pamuk creates the atmosphere of the small city of Kars (a
بثينة العيسى
رواية قديرة. استحقت كل ساعة أمضيتها معها. التجريب الذي مارسه باموق هنا في الكتابة بالصوت العليم، الذي هو في الباطن صوتٌ ذاتي، عظيمة. والشخوص المتراوحة ما بين قطبين متضادين، الشخوص المركبة والغنية والخصبة.. يستطيع المرء أن يكتب لأجلها كتبًا.

Jim Fonseca
Apr 24, 2016 Jim Fonseca rated it really liked it
Shelves: turkish-authors
Written in 2002, this novel predates Pamuk’s winning of the Nobel Prize in 2006. The main character is a Turkish emigre, one of many who live in Germany. He is returning home after years away. We are told he ran into political difficulties with his poetry and decided to leave Turkey. He returns to Turkey ostensibly for his mother’s funeral, but he has also learned through the grapevine that an old flame of his is now divorced. His instinct is that this journey will change his life.

Once back in
Oct 22, 2016 Anna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: around-the-world
Το βιβλίο είναι φάση η-μικρή-Αννούλα-πήγε-στη-δημοτική-βιβλιοθήκη-και-είπε-να-γνωρίσει-τον-κόσμο. Ακολουθεί επομένως κριτική ανάλογου επιπέδου.
Από καιρό ήθελα να διαβάσω έργο του Παμούκ και με μια μικρή έρευνα που έκανα (βασικά στο goodreads) είδα ότι όλα του τα βιβλία θεωρούνται το ίδιο καλά, οπότε διάλεξα το παρόν καθαρά από θέμα τύχης (η επίσκεψή μου στη βιβλιοθήκη δεν πρέπει να κράτησε πάνω από λίγα λεπτά). Ήξερα επίσης ότι ο συγγραφέας ζει στην Κωνσταντινούπολη και νόμιζα ότι όλα του τα β
Oct 28, 2009 Kelly rated it really liked it
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.
Apr 06, 2016 Owlseyes rated it really liked it
Shelves: turkish-lit

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
Jan 07, 2014 Stephanie rated it did not like it
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.
Jan 06, 2014 Niledaughter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: east-and-west, turkey
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
Sep 04, 2014 Heba rated it really liked it
الثلج يندف على "قارص" لكى يغطى ذاك الوجه الشاحب لهذه المدينه البائسه
قارص" تلك المدينه التركيه الغارقه فى البؤس والفقر" _الممارسات العبثيه_ والفوضى السياسيه
والفصل القومى والعرقى وانقسام الأحزاب على ذاتها
لقد أبدع الكاتب " أورهان" فى هذه الروايه
من حيث الحبكه الروائيه وسرد الأحداث بكل سلاسه ودقه لا متناهيه فى وصف التفاصيل
استطاع الكاتب أن يكشف ذاك الصراع النفسى لدى كل شخصيات الروايه ببراعة
الشاعر "كا" البطل الرئيسى للروايه نظم تسعة عشر قصيده فى "قارص" الا واحده لم يتمكن من كتابتها كامله
تلك التى تحم
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Mar 20, 2013 Elizabeth (Alaska) rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
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
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
Jan 04, 2016 Jale rated it really liked it
2015 biterken ve 2016'nın başlarında, üstelik Kars'a doğru yola çıktığımda okumaya başladım. Kar, Kars, hüzün ve terk edilmişlik duygularının kendini hissettirdiği romanda geçen yerleri aradım Kars sokaklarında. Tren garı, Karadağ oteli, çay ocaklarının bazıları, 400 yıllık köprü, hamam ve bahsettiği evler yerinde dururken Yeni Hayat Pastanesi'ni bulamadım. Benim için memleket kokulu kitaptır. Ve elbet de hüzün kokulu...
Oct 25, 2011 Elisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lynne King
Mar 05, 2013 Lynne King rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
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
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.
Ayu Palar
Feb 13, 2010 Ayu Palar rated it really liked it
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
Dec 26, 2013 Tim rated it liked it
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 ...more
Oct 25, 2011 Luana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Sarah saied
ثلاثة نجمات ونصف للرواية...
فقط احذر أن تكون هذه الرواية هي القراءة الأولي لأورهان باموق....هي كفيلة بأن تكرهه !!

(نحن كنا هنا جميعا أخوة..ولكن في السنوات الأخيرة بدأ كل شخص يقول..أنا آذري. أنا كردي..أنا تركي.....
والآن الجميع أفقر وأكثر مباهاة)..

من جديد لقاء آخر مع أورهان باموق ....بعد روايته الجميلة ( اسمي أحمر )...وكتاب المقالات الممتع( ألوان أخري)...
لا أذكر أين قرأت مرة من يصف أورهان باموق بالكاتب الثرثار ...ولكن هذا الوصف ينطبق حقا علي كتاباته....هو ثرثار بما يكفي اغراق قرائه في تفاصيل روايته
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 02, 2015 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
It took me almost 2 months to read this book because for many times, reading it is like a chore. However, there are some brilliant parts so I continued reading hoping that there were lots of them especially in the last 50 pages. I was not disappointed. The last parts really made sense and Pamuk made sure that the political message like Turkey is in search of its own identity as a nation is well-entrenched in the mind of his readers.

But what country is not in search of her identity? Even the Phil
Feb 08, 2016 booksofAhu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: te
Orhan Pamuk'u ilk okuduğumda (Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları) üniversitedeydim ve ne nobel almıştı ne de çoksatanlar listesindeydi. Okurken çok sıkıldığımı gayet net hatırlıyorum. Bir yazarı ilk okuduğumda sevemezsem bir daha pek şans tanımıyorum. Sonrasında da OP'nin politik duruşu nedeniyle bir daha okumaya niyetim yoktu. Ancak çok sevdiğim biri bu kitabını okumamı söyleyince bunca yıl sonra tekrar okumaya karar verdim. Bu eleştiriyi bu bilgi ışığında okumak gerek diye bunca açıklamayı yapıyorum.

Tüm s
Suffocating prose; monologues in spades; hard to understand without footnotes, which made me care less for the plot; I have a feeling English translation is not too good - at some point, accidentally, I switched from a print copy in English to an e-book in Polish and the change in the ease of reading was amazing, something I rarely experience these days. It seems that either the English translation is less flowing than the Polish one, or that the Polish translator took some liberties with the ...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
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Around the World ...: * Discussion about Snow and Birds without Wings starts here 1 7 May 08, 2016 08:32AM  
Should there not be a category " Abandoned half way" ? 2 21 Jan 15, 2016 02:37AM  
kindle 3 98 Dec 10, 2015 02:14PM  
Turkish Reading C...: Kar ile ilgili tartışma 11 63 Nov 12, 2014 05:20AM  
comment 6 146 Nov 15, 2013 01:13AM  
  • Memed, My Hawk (İnce Memed, #1)
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  • Portrait of a Turkish Family
  • Sevgili Arsız Ölüm
  • The Museum of Unconditional Surrender
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  • Anayurt Oteli
  • The History of the Siege of Lisbon
  • Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds
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  • Desert
  • Korkuyu Beklerken
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Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul in 1952 and grew up in a large family similar to those which he describes in his novels Cevdet Bey and His Sons and The Black Book, in the wealthy westernised district of Nisantasi. As he writes in his autobiographical book Istanbul, from his childhood until the age of 22 he devoted himself largely to painting and dreamed of becoming an artist. After graduating ...more
More about Orhan Pamuk...

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“Happiness is holding someone in your arms and knowing you hold the whole world.” 2940 likes
“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?” 487 likes
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