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The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk
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's review
Dec 10, 2011

really liked it
Read from December 28, 2011 to January 01, 2012

Not writing this review for literary reasons helps, cos I read it in fast-forward, that means I can't tell you that I read all the words but I think I got it. The content is such that anybody who is well versed with Muslim society can understand the flow of the book, the author/interpreter has done a great job though I found the style of writing a bit mysterious like Turkish culture and Muslim people in general. So I would say I was satisfied by the story and the narration.

Do read the preface, I had to read it two times once at the beginning when I wasn't really paying attention and once at the end of the book. The story goes a bit like this, there is a christian man who has to live in Istanbul for 20 odd years in slavery after his ship is taken hostage by pirates, he doesn't accept Islam and so has to have a master, he is a man of learning and luckily his master is a look alike of himself and was also a former slave and also dabbles in science, astronomy, animals, warfare, you name it they do it. The two live in the master's house, the protagonist describes how he adjusts to a different culture, he kind of forgets himself and likes to walk the city, which he describes as beautiful, an invisible man with just memories of the time he spent with his family.

The book takes a fast turn after about 90 pages and we learn how well he has done for himself professionally and financially, he becomes a free man and marries and even has children. The last part was a bit confusing so may try to read it again someday.

I was thinking how terrified I was as a girl of children being kidnapped and separated from their family. But this book seemed to be about being totally cut off from everything you once knew, strangely the protagonist doesn't much describe any feelings of loss, maybe cos he was older and already away from home. He hardly ever tries to escape after being told that the sultan would find him before he went too far. An unexpected, but kind of nice book. The characters seemed real and I even laughed a few times.

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Reading Progress

12/28/2011 page 36
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