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The Black Book

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  5,438 ratings  ·  411 reviews
A New Translation and Afterword by Maureen Freely

Galip is a lawyer living in Istanbul. His wife, the detective novel–loving Ruya, has disappeared. Could she have left him for her ex-husband or Celâl, a popular newspaper columnist? But Celâl, too, seems to have vanished. As Galip investigates, he finds himself assuming the enviable Celâl's identity, wearing his clothes, ans
Paperback, 466 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Vintage (first published 1990)
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this is a rare example of a reread for me. I don't reread books very often, not because I don't want to, blahblahblah....

My experience of reading this one was a good example of a certain kind of reader's disease. The kind where even though you are trying to focus your attention on the story, the language, etc your eyes start to water and you kind of glaze over in your mind, turning pages and sort of dimly registering the story. It's not "reading",per se, but it's not skimming either. It's not b
Wael Mahmoud
مع أسمي أحمر - في الحقيقة بعدها - تعتبر الكتاب الأسود أجمل روايات باموق ومن أهم الأعمال الروائية في التاريخ. يبدو الكتاب للوهلة الأولى بمثابة مسارين منفصلين - حكاية بحث غالب عن رؤيا ومقالات جلال "ثم غالب" - إلا أن الكثير في حكاية غالب لا يمكن فك طلاسمه إلا من خلال مقالات جلال، و لا تكمن المشكلة "المتعة" عندما تسبق المقالات دلالاتها في الحكاية بل عندما تسبق الحكاية مقالات فك دلالاتها. و لذلك فقط مع فولكنر و"إلى حد ما" كونديرا تعتبر القراءة الثانية لباموق بمثابة عمل فني في حد ذاتها.

بخصوص المقالات
A man’s search for his wife and her journalist ex-husband becomes intertwined with the latter’s bizarre articles/columns turning this book into a bewildering hall of mirrors of Dostoevsky styled feverish monologues, storytelling sessions like a Dinesen or Potocki tale, and Borgesian labyrinths of history and literature (and fake detective tale). Each chapter is its own unit; a short story, mock essay, or monologue. This book is exasperating, annoying, thrilling, and provocative at different poin ...more
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The book, in a nutshell, traces the protagonist’s search for his wife and, subsequently, also his cousin. There is indeed a vague plot resembling a detective novel here, but that is hardly the point of the novel. The real point of the novel is Turkey, as Galip’s search for Ruya takes him around Istanbul meeting various people who he thinks might help him find her, and via this process the novel morphs into an examination of identity, both individual and national.

On one
مروان البلوشي

رواية الكتاب الأسود –برأيي الشخصي- هي أفضل ما كتبه الروائي التركي أورهان باموك حتى الآن. لن أكتب هنا عن رأيي بتفاصيل الرواية أو تقييمي لخباياها لا أريد ذلك، فهناك العديد من الأسرار التي تعلمتها والتي سأحتفظ بها لنفسي، ولكني سأذكر هنا 7 نقاط أساسية عن هذه الرواية (الرقم 7 سحري في غالبية الثقافات) :
1. مثل قصص التصوف العظمى التي تدور حول خروج الإنسان في رحلة طويلة للبحث عن الله والبحث عن نفسه، فإن هذه الرواية تدور حول رحلة مشابهة..
2. خورخي لويس بورخيس.. إيتالو كالفينو.. كاتبان نخبويان مهمان للغاية
Ipek Soran
"yetenek denen şeyden daha çok güvendiğim inatçılık ve sabrıma..." demiş orhan pamuk. kara kitap'ın bende bıraktığı en büyük iz, tam da bu oldu.

bu kitabı ölmeden önce okumuş olmak ne büyük mutluluk.
Jul 07, 2015 Deea rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Deea by: Carlo
Shelves: nobel
To what degree can we be ourselves? “To be or not to be oneself” , considers Pamuk, is life’s ultimate question. A roller-coaster which is alike in many aspects with a detective novel, this story is suffused with possible answers to the question above and explorations of how, only by telling stories, a man can really be himself. Through hypotheses developed in stories with a prince embarking on quests of finding his real self in order to be able to guide his people if he would come next in line ...more
I hope that Orhan Pamuk really enjoyed writing The Black Book, because I definitely did not enjoy reading it.

It is ostensibly the story of Celal, a columnist for a major Turkish daily who has disappeared or ran away, told through the eyes of the his friend and brother-in-law, Galip. When Galip’s pulp detective novel-loving wife (Celal’s sister) disappears as well, Galip turns into something of a detective himself, and the plot thickens. And then, it slows to a tedious crawl.

Whatever the story i
I get it. Not all authors write in the same style, the same proficiency, the same genre, nor the same level of whatever readers want in each of their books. That is why there are novels that are more successful than others within their work. Perhaps, therefore, there should be no real sympathy for me here, but Orhan Pamuk's The Museum of Innocence was by far one of my all-time-favorites, a definite 5 Star. Sadly, I have read the more if guys works, increasingly desperately trying to find one tha ...more
Who you really are? On the surface, this seems like a question already posed elsewhere with such banality and tedium that some would be happy to declare that they don’t care about the question, let alone a possible answer. However, you can’t help but to think about your identity while riding the roller-coaster that Pamuk manages to pull-off in The Black Book. Like all great minds, Pamuk knows very well that attempting to answer such a question is quite complicated, though he is committed to taki ...more
Asma awadh
يتحدث أورهان باموق عن هذه الرواية في كتابه ألوان اخرى"أشد ما أتذكره بقوة من الكتاب الأسود هي الأيام الأخيرة التي قصيتها في العمل عليه.في 1988 بعد ثلاث سنوات من العمل ,عندما كانت النهاية تلوح في الأفق ,أغلقت على نفسي لوقت قصير في شقة خالية في قمة بناية حديثة ترتفع سبعة عشر طابقاً في إرينكوي,حيث لم أفعل شيئاً سوى الكتابة.....فقدت الصلة بالعالم الخارجي,لكنني وأنا جالس في ركني لم أصل بالرواية الى الختام" وأضاف فيما بعد"كانت هناك أوقات كنت أخشى فيها أن الكتاب كان يسير الى غير مكان,وان كل الصفحات التي ...more
Nojood Alsudairi
رحلة غالب للبحث عن رؤيا هي في الحقيقة رحلته للبحث عن ذاته التي لم يجدها حتى نهاية الرواية. رواية مليئة يالالغاز تجعلنا نفكر مليا في ذواتنا ومن نكون. هل نحن حقاً ما نحن عليه أم أننا صورة لما نريد أن نكون عليه أم صورة لما يريده الآخرون عنا؟. في رحلته للبحث عن رؤيا كان غالب يبحث في الحقيقة عن جلال الذي حاول تقمصة منذ صغره دون أن يشعر. وبالرغم من اكتشافه أن جلال لم يكن هو ذاته إلا أنه في النهاية وصل إلى أن أصبح هو جلال. يتضح لنا ذلك من تغير الخطاب من "هو" (غالب) إلى "أنا" التي انفرد بها جلال حتى الر ...more
I picked up this book at a library book sale - in part for the picture of the Hagia Sophia on the cover, the blurbs ("tantalizing," "splendid," "delicious"), and the promise of the exotic in Istanbul. The copy I purchased was published before Pamuk won the Nobel Prize.

This is an intricate and beautifully written book. It is a detective story like Calvino's If On A Winter's Night a Traveller is a detective story. Like that story it is a reflection on writing and identity, but set in Istanbul with
Bu kitabı neredeyse iki aydır elimde gezdirmemin birçok sebebi var. Bir asıl hikaye, bir köşe yazısı şeklinde giden kurgusu ve benim bu ikililer arasında ilişki kurmayla cebelleşmem, romanın haddinden fazla uzun ve yer yer düşük cümleleri, sürekli verilen geriye dönük referanslar vb. bunlardan birkaçı. Ama en önemli sebep Kara Kitap'ın bir arayışın romanı olması; ve hayatı boyunca kayıp bir sevgilinin, gizli bir tarikatın, karşı konulmaz bir büyük gerçeğin peşine düşmemiş benim gibi vasat insanl ...more
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This was the first book I have read by Orhan Pamuk...apparently, it is not his best known...described as a "cult classic" by the Times Of London...and it appears to have come into translation much later than his other works. The story is s a rather bizarre "mystery" focusing on themes of identity, loss and isolation, amongst other things...and while Pamuk is obviously an amazing stylist (they don't tend to give out Noble Prizes willy-nilly), this particular book seems to have lost quite a bit in ...more
Otro libro negro

Este no es el de Papini, llamado así porque está escrito en una época que el mismo Papini, calificó de negra; la de la segunda guerra mundial. Este segundo libro negro está escrito por Orhan Pamuk y son más de 600 páginas de desafiante lectura de tristeza y soledad. Su negrura es la del dolor del autor que pierde a su mujer. Está construido alrededor de este hecho, la desaparición, huida, partida o pérdida de la mujer, no explicada, en una carta que deja al marido.
Él protagonist
This book should have been better. It had a very good beginning but then really fell off.

The fault is most likely both Pamuk’s and Freely’s (the translator). The way Freely described the translation process in the Afterword (which should have been the Foreword, unlike most Forewords, which give away the entire plot and should be Afterwords), it seems as if Turkish is incredibly hard to translate into English. She also relates how beautiful Pamuk’s prose is. That beauty does not come through. In
This is the best Pamuk novel I've read, and it is the one that made his reputation in Turkey. It was not as widely-known to English-language readers as two of his subsequent novels ("My Name Is Red" and "Snow") because of a more difficult translation published in 1995. This newer translation is by Pamuk's close English-language collaborator Maureen Freely, and was published in 2006 shortly before Pamuk won the Nobel Prize.

The setting is Istanbul shortly before the military coup of 1980, though
Kurgu harikası. Bazı uzun olsun diye uzatılmış cümleler dışında dili de gayet güzel, leziz. İç içe geçen örgü dışında, bu örgüyü oluşturan olayların ve hikayelerin orijinalliği ve söyledikleri ya da işaret ettiği gizemin ve ya bakış açısına göre gizemsizliğin (bakın neler yapıyorum!:) bütüne olan etkisi yerli yerinde. Hiçbir şey boşuna yazılmamış hissi verdi genel itibariyle.

Modern klasik.
While reading Orhan Pamuk's breakthrough novel, it is easy to feel as lost as the central character, a lawyer who discovers that the central mystery is not the whereabouts in enigmatic Istanbul of his missing wife, but rather that of identity itself. His identity, that of a newspaper columnist given to revolutionary tales and historical asides, that of a mysterious caller, and in fact, of Istanbul itself and its relation to the culture and identity of the West are all called into question.

The wr

Orhan Pamuk is Turkey's most well-known author, internationally, and The Black Book is proclaimed by The Times Literary Supplement as his masterpiece. It was first published in 1991 and translated into English shortly after that. In an Afterword to this volume the current translator explains the vagaries of translating Turkish into English, and that she did this updated translation because the earlier version failed to reflect the flow of the Turkish language. Also, by being
Remember those Magic Eye pictures that were popular back in the 90’s? If you stared at what looked like random dots or patterns in just the right way, forcing your eyes apart from their usual angled focus, a hidden 3-D image would suddenly pop into view. Some of them were pretty cool. If you were like me, though, it took a while to get it right. I remember moving the picture back and forth, commanding my eyes not to cross as it got closer to my nose and trying to hold that same angle as I moved ...more
This is a massive achievement. It's quite exhausting to read as the author throws stories, characters, similies at us at a very rapid rate.
What is so special about it is the way he works on several levels: he brings home what it is like to be Turkish, how Istanbul is the frontier of cultures, and how much history is there. But on another, more modernist level, he raises questions of what it is to be an author, the relationship between reader and writer, and ultimately, what defines our identity.
Yehia Nasser
على كل شخص يريدالانطلاق فى الطريق وتاسيس عالم جديد ان يرى بدايةً الحروف التى فى وجهه
What a strange book... it took me a while to get into the story, basically because I'm in the middle of my finals and I don't have much time to read and, consequently, a read a bit in a hurry. And this is definitely not the way to read this book.
The main character, Gallip, one day comes back home and realises his wife, Ruya, has left him. He believes she has run away with Celal, his step-brother and a famous columnist, and that they are hiding somewhere in Istanbul. So he starts looking for the
أسعد بدوي
أولًا: يلّعن/ انتهيت من رواية تتجاوز الستمئة صفحة في وقت قياسي (كنت أتمنى لو أنّي قضيت فيها وقت أطول).
القراءة لكاتب ثرثار مثل باموق أمر أقرب إلى التحدي فما بالكم لو كانت أكثر رواياته صعوبة يقول الكاتب عن "الكتاب الأسود":
"كنت أشعر بوحدة بالغة, مثل غالب . ربما كنت أشعر بذلك لكي أتمكن من وضع المشاعر في الكتاب لكنه كان مصاباً بالاكتئاب, بينما كانت وحدتي وعزلتي عن غضب . لأنهم لن يفهموا هذا الكتاب الذي كان يصبح أكثر غرابة بمرور الوقت, لأنهم سوف يقيسونه بالروايات التقليدية, لأنه كان من الصعب فهمه, لأن
I have visited Turkey, but not Istanbul. It’s one of those iconic places that keeps cropping up in travel plans, but then gets overlooked, possibly because its name fits so easily into my thoughts that I convince myself I have already been there. Having just read Orhan Pamuk’s The Black Book, that illusion will be orders of magnitude stronger. Orhan Pamuk won the 2006 Nobel Prize for literature and this seems to have spurned new translations of his work, new versions which hopefully can widen hi ...more

Sbenarnya buku ini tergolong buku yang susah dihabisi (dibaca sampai habis). Kalimat dalam buku ini panjang-panjang, penuh dengan koma dan klausa-klausa pendukung menyebabkan membaca buku ini lebih dari 2 jam dijamin akan membuat mata berair. Entah karena pedih ataupun karena menguap.

Tapi buku ini benar-benar sangat kaya. Penuh dengan pemikiran-pemikiran dan pertanyaan-pertanyaan terkait dengan pergulatan hidup hampir semua orang di dunia: masalah identitas. Berlatarkan awal tahun
Painfully beautiful, intriguing and an absorbing, labyrinthine story. Will read it once again before I can make any smart comment about this book which offers many pleasures.

One story inside the story is about a Prince who had discovered that the most important question in life was whether or not one could be oneself. This idea is in another level reflected in the protagonist's search for his vanishing wife which is the main plot of the novel.

Sometimes I feel like reading a detective story, ano
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ماذا يوجد في الكتاب الأسود ! 89 207 Jun 17, 2014 02:07PM  
Turkish Reading C...: Kara Kitap ile ilgili tartışma 1 29 Feb 01, 2014 12:51PM  
  • Huzur
  • Korkuyu Beklerken
  • Sevgili Arsız Ölüm
  • Ölmeye Yatmak
  • Alemdağ'da Var Bir Yılan
  • Aylak Adam
  • Gölgesizler
  • Bizim Büyük Çaresizliğimiz
  • Memed, My Hawk (İnce Memed, #1)
  • Suskunlar
  • Tol
  • Cehennem Çiçeği (Alper Kamu, #2)
  • Esir Şehrin İnsanları (Esir Şehir Üçlemesi, #1)
  • Çocukluğun Soğuk Geceleri
  • The Flea Palace
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 fro ...more
More about Orhan Pamuk...

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“[N]othing is as surprising as life. Except for writing. Except for writing. Yes, of course, except for writing, the only consolation.” 56 likes
“When you look into the faces of these quiet creatures who don't know how to tell stories--who are mute, who can't make themselves heard, who fade into the woodwork, who only think of the perfect answer after the fact, after they're back at home, who can never think of a story that anyone else will find interesting--is there not more depth and more meaning in them? You can see every letter of every untold story swimming on their faces, and all the signs of silence, dejection, and even defeat. You can even imagine your own face in those faces, can't you?” 22 likes
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