Cortney's Reviews > Istanbul: Memories and the City

Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk
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Feb 01, 08

Read in January, 2008

This was not, first of all, the book I espected it to be. It was not truly an autobiography of the author, who gave nothing at all away, at least in the context of the west (perhaps it would shock conservative Turks that he apparently had a sexual relationship with a girl as a young man, but I don't know what Turkish mores are, so I shouldn't judge) and gave away little in terms of the city that he was supposedly also biographying. It gave tantalising hints of things, and there were potential threads to follow, but overall, I felt that it wasn't worth the read.

The book contains pictures, but since none of them are captioned it is impossible to know why the author chose them, what point they illustrate in many cases, or who is in them in the case of the occasional family photo. It might be a very good book in the larger context of Turkish works, but I don't feel that it's very good in my context.
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Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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Matthijs althoug I really liked this book, it is due in large part due to the fact that I know Istanbul and the authors other work. When I read your review, I could completely imagine how different it would be for someone coming at it from a different approach. I hope that you may consider re-reading it after more Pamuk and a dash of Istanbul ;-)

I completely agree with you comments on the photo's. Although a couple of them are logical (such as the Melling chapter, or some family pictures) the rest seems te be there just for the authors sake, and he isn't willing to share his melancholy. Really a shame.


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