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The Gaze

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  1,817 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
A new title from the author of The Flea Palace, shortlisted for the Independent Prize for Foreign Fiction and chosen for Waterstone’s 2005 Summer Reading promotion.

In her prize-wining novel, The Gaze, Shafak explores the subject of body image and desirability. An overweight woman and her lover, a dwarf, are sick of being stared at wherever they go, and decide to reverse ro
Paperback, 252 pages
Published July 1st 2006 by Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd (first published 1999)
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Bahar Mir
Apr 05, 2017 Bahar Mir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"This is a world of spectacles, About seeing and being seen."
"It's as if our entire existence, as well as our non-existence, is founded on seeing and being seen."

Elif Shafak's words touched me like no other book ever has, maybe because the hard detailed work on each paragraph and sentence was evident and enchanting.After reading about 20 pages of the novel, while you're confused and searching for everything you begin to understand that you're in capable hands.The only thing you should do is sit
Fulya İçöz
Tamam artık. Şu ana kadar üç tane Elif Şafak romanı okudum ve bu sonuncusu olacak. Bundan sonra dünyanın en güzel kitabını yazdığı iddia edilse dahi, daha fazla dayanamıyorum bu kadının kitaplarına. Onu da biliyorum, şunu da biliyorum, bakın ben neler neler biliyorum! Kurguda okuruna böyle üstten bakmak, caka satmak son derece rahatsız edici bir yazar için. Çok özgün bir konu seçip bu konuyu oryantalist masallarla süsleyip Türk okuru dışındaki herkese pazarlamaya çalışmanın bir timsalidir "Mahre ...more
Vivek Tejuja
Apr 01, 2013 Vivek Tejuja rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Off late I have been reading books about issues. About differences and the human condition when it comes to dealing with the differences. The idea of humanity is so complex at times. Everything that can be black and white is not. Everything is hankered over. Every aspect of life is microscopically looked at. Nothing is left the way it is, the way nature intended it to be. The way people think of us starts from the way they start looking at us, the way they perceive us to be. This is where it all
Dr. Ansh
Feb 25, 2016 Dr. Ansh rated it did not like it
No, I didn't finish this book. I abandoned it. And this has happened for the 1st time as I never abandon a book in the mid no matter what but this was going beyond my wits. And what makes me more surprised that I "adore" Elif Shafak. I have given 5 stars to all the three books of her that I have read (The Bastard of Istanbul, 40 Rules of Love and Honour).
I don't want to review the book as I feel that too is a severe waste of time. Stay away from this if you want to maintain your sanity. Period.
Beth Hall
Jun 06, 2015 Beth Hall rated it really liked it
This book was beautifully written, and I'm really hoping this writing style is consistent in Elif's other books as this was the first of hers I have read after seeing her give a talk at my university for International Women's Day. The book jumps back and forth between storylines and while it can be a little bewildering at first, it is in equal parts interesting and exciting. Luckily, all of the segments are tied up satisfyingly by the end. The mixing of fairytale and fable with apparent realism ...more
Dec 14, 2014 Rima added it
Some novels are better left "unseen"!
Jan 29, 2017 Books.Paper.Mania rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before starting to review this book, I'd like to ask a question? Do you look at people? Do you enjoy it? Do you like being looked at? Well, let me answer these questions for you. Yes, I look at people. Yes, sometimes I enjoy it, it's like exploring something new, looking at them, getting inside their heads, looks or shapes and deciphering their feelings and emotions. And no, I don't like it when people look at me in a certain way, as if there's something wrong with me, but if it's to admire my l ...more
Okay, I’ll admit, this book was a complete cover buy for me. I was on a college trip when I saw a book stall. Stopped by because come on, who would miss a chance like that? Saw the book and instantly fell in love. I had heard about the author and already had two of her books on my tbr. I wasn’t familiar with her writing style but how could I not buy it? IT HAS GOLD STARS ON THE COVER!!! And that’s how I ended up buying it. You would’ve guessed it by now but still, 5 stars for the cover.

And just
Orhan Gülek
Jul 05, 2015 Orhan Gülek rated it did not like it
The English translation of this book is incredibly bad.
Jun 11, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read 3 other books by the author and this is by far the most interesting. It's hard to pin down what it's really about but I guess I'd say about opposites or differences: the women going to the cherry colored tent from one direction and with one set of rules, men approaching from the other side with a different set of rules. What they come to watch inside the tent is opposite, too. The other story about the tall fat woman and her lover who is a dwarf. And they play at being opposites. The B ...more
Vildan Arıcan
May 04, 2012 Vildan Arıcan rated it it was amazing
I really really love that intermingled style of writing ı mean nearly four stories go hand in hand without any ambigous pace. Like a breath that you take when you got kindda familiar with one story that you are involved-reading,,, For example I like that fat woman most, that's why I read the other parts faster as to get to pieces together which ll place a whole story of the fat woman and her absurd-like lover:)
Salam Almahi
Awful. Awful book.
Moushine Zahr
Jun 16, 2017 Moushine Zahr rated it liked it
This is the 5th novel I've read from Turkish author Elif Shafak. The main topic of the novel is what its title implies, meaning it is about people gazing, seeing, being seen, watching without really seeing.
The novel is divided in 2 parts: a contemporary story set in Istambul in 1999 and 1980 about an obese woman's life with a dwarf while the second part are a collection of 3 historical stories set in Siberia in the 17th century and in Pera and France in the 19th century.

I liked the historical s
Mar 22, 2017 Sonnybroos rated it liked it
I have so many mix feelings about The Gaze. I just know that I will definitely reread it... I believe that I didn't put enough time and thought on it this time.
Sep 25, 2015 Milena rated it liked it
„Zihin (интелект): Когато интелектът е замъглен, видяното е също замъглено.“

Всяка нова книга на Елиф Шафак представлява интерес за мен. Харесвам много тази писателка и странната, неописуема аура, която пулсира около книгите й. „Речник на погледите“ (изд. „Егмонт България“) излезе на българския пазар преди броени седмици, но всъщност това е третата книга на Шафак. Романът е определян като най-авангардната й творба и е описан от Орхан Памук като „омагьосваща комбинация от жалост и жестокост”. „Реч
Apr 08, 2016 Elena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Както винаги Елиф Шафак се справя страхотно с пресъздаването на обстановката, героите, чувствата, емоциите и настроенията. Блестящ майстор на перото!

Темата, която е избрана за основна в книгата е тази за силата на погледите, но не какви да е погледи, а критикуващи, осъждащи погледи, които искат да открият всичко съкровено, но не могат и затова се задоволяват с злостна критика на тези, които са различни от тях. Тези, които са грозни, дебели, кльощави, ниски....безброй епитети поставяни въз основ
Sorin Hadârcă
Jul 28, 2011 Sorin Hadârcă rated it it was amazing
The Gaze is an amazing book. With its action taking place in the colonized Siberia of the 17th century, revolutionary France of the 19th and modernizing Ottoman Empire of the late 19th it turns out to be story of an obese woman and a dwarf in the nowadays Turkish Republic.

Respectively, the book has many layers including a Dictionary of Gazes – a lifelong project of the dwarf and a focal point of all the stories. In turns, we observe the interrupted transformation of a shaman in Siberia, resulted
Sonia Ahmed
Apr 23, 2014 Sonia Ahmed rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have never read anything like that before. I am awed by her ability to describe ordinary things of daily life such extraordinarily and extraordinary things such brilliantly.
When I started reading this book, I went through the reviews and was amused to see someone relating this book to an extremely fatty lasagna dish. The similarity is striking. Like a lasagna, you keep getting stuffed but you keep eating anyway because all the different flavors of cheese, meat, pasta and sauces keep stimulatin
Nelly Habib
Dec 26, 2015 Nelly Habib rated it it was ok
this was horrible ! it started off nicely, i really liked its dense and philosophical ideas...then it started to really become too heavy ! like trying to walk in puddles of mud ! i forced myself to finish got extremely boring by page 110...there was also the repetitiveness , repeating whole paragraphs, and complete long sentences, that wasn't really cute ! that really added to the boredom ! this book was really promising, and the ideas in there were really good, but the style of writing, ...more
Mar 24, 2013 Louise rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Didn't get on with this one, it wasn't quite what the blurb on the back told me...or rather it was, but a lot more besides... I was expecting a story about an obese lady and a dwarf and the trials of their relationship....Got few other stories besides, and didn't really feel I got to know either of the main characters until near the end.
Jul 29, 2008 Datsun rated it it was ok
I dunno if it's the translation or what, but this was just a little too elliptical, a little too suggestive, and a little too... thin for my taste. After being promised a fat woman and a dwarf, I just felt let down. But that may be because I was spoiled by Katherine Dunn's fantastic Geek Love.
Mert Tuzer
Çizgi gibi gözler, mahremi görüp görmediği belli olmayan Be-Ce, belki bir cüce, kadın.

Çirkinler çirkini, güzeller güzeli, minibüste alnındaki damla damla terle başa çıkmaya çalışan bir kadın, bir adam-kömürlük ve kız.

mahrem: gözünüzün gördüğü, dilinizin şahit olmadığı.
Jun 01, 2015 Arwa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shafak never fails to impress me, she takes you back and forth in time smoothly and elegantly, she describes ordinary feelings in such extraordinary way. The ending is not as expected though, but all in all i loved the book
Marina Nova
Книгите на Шафак стават все по-философски, повдигат и викат все повече въпроси, световете им стават все по-образни и неподвластни на физичните закони, повествованието все по-концентрирано в широкообхватността си. А историята и развръзките все по-объркани и липсващи. Изпитание и наслада в едно.
Apr 12, 2008 Sam rated it it was ok
At times compelling, at other times much too whimsical.
Elena Di
May 18, 2012 Elena Di rated it did not like it
I really, really didn't like it. Too rich, too heavy to enjoy, like an extremely fatty lasagna dish!
Yehia Nasser
Oct 09, 2014 Yehia Nasser rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite
this is aworld of spectacles
about seeing and being seen
Oct 05, 2015 Zeynoo added it
Bramha Raju
Mar 16, 2017 Bramha Raju rated it really liked it

I fell in love with Elif Shafak with 40 Rules of Love and since then I read Honour and The Bastard of Istanbul, both of which I enjoyed immensely. Her quintessential ability to time shift with the story narration, keeping the reader glued with her lovely prose and eastern history blended in. When I finished reading the The Gaze, my love for the author is unsurmountable and I wish I could meet her someday. I remember having the same feeling when I read Elizabeth Gilbert a decade ago.
The Gaze is
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Elif Shafak was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1971. She is an award-winning novelist and the most widely read woman writer in Turkey. Critics have named her as “one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary Turkish and world literature”. Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages and she was awarded the honorary distinction of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters.
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“Bazen... böyle birdenbire yaralanıveririz. Ama her yara iyileşir. Eninde sonunda kabuk bağlar, üstünü kapatır. Gözlerden saklanır. Çünkü hiçbir yara görülmek istemez. Yeter ki bu yara gözbebeklerine çıkmasın. Çünkü eğer gözbebeklerin yaralanırsa, bir daha asla aynı gözle bakamazsın dünyaya. Baktığın her şeyin kötü yanını görmeye başlarsın. Saklı kalmış pislikler bile kaçmaz gözlerinden. Öteki insanlar da hisseder artık aynı şeyleri görmediğini ve artık onları sevmediğini. Rahatsız olurlar. Onlar da bir daha aynı gözle bakamaz sana. Bu yüzden kimse seni yakınında görmek istemez. Resim aynı resimdir aslında, değişen senin gözlerindir. Eğer sen çıkarsan resimden, her şey eskisi gibi kalır, herkes rahat eder. Şahsen bence en iyisi, gitmektir böyle durumlarda. Üstüne üstüne gitmek. İnadına!” 10 likes
“Geçmiş, bugün ve gelecek... hepsini peşpeşe dizip, dümdüz bir çizgi çiziyoruz. Bu yüzden geçmişin geçip gittiğine, geleceğin henüz gelmediğine inanıyoruz. Ve en kötüsü, zamanı önceden çizdiğimiz bu dümdüz çizgide yürümeye mecbur tutuyoruz. Ama belki de o burnunun ucunu göremeyecek kadar sarhoştur. Keşke zaman hiç ayılmasa. Düz çizgide dümdüz yürümeyi bir türlü başaramasa. Keşke hep yalpalasa, saçmalasa,parçalasa. Biz de bakıp bakıp, yaptıklarını kınasak ve bir daha hiçbir şeyimizi ona havale etmeye kalkmasak.” 4 likes
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