Mohit Parikh's Reviews > The New Life

The New Life by Orhan Pamuk
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Feb 02, 12

bookshelves: lit-gems
Read from January 09 to February 02, 2012

I am done with 60% of the book and couldn't hold myself from writing something, anything, about the book, with my half-open sleepy eyes.

When I began this book, I wanted to love Pamuk. Through his interviews and talks, the reviews of his books, and my experience with Snow, I have made some strong opinions about him, which I wanted to change in the course of reading this novel. The opinions remain unscathed, so far, but I almost liked him.

Some observations so far:
1. Osman and Janan are too similar to Ka and Ipek: the male hero (overtly) sentimental, sensitive, vulnerable. The female hero mysterious and angelic.
2. Young people masturbate and watch Porno. Pamuk's insistence related to the religious/moral weather in Turkey?
3. His novel(s) is(/are) superbly planned, writing lacks precision.
Too many words (bad), too many themes (good), too many layers (awesome).
4. Pamuk is IMPORTANT. Political reasons. He has contributed tremendously to the postmodern literature (been an avant-garde?) but his voice - where it comes form and what it says - is too crucial in our times.
The New Life was a rage in Turkey. What does that mean? Some people picked up this book and their whole life was changed.
5. I am a bad reader. This book, that I will finish in about 3 weeks, will need at least three more weeks of re-reading (and brooding) to be able to even appreciate or denounce the work. All I am able to achieve in my first reading is reaching closer to the end.
6. I will never be able to love Pamuk the writer. Have immense respect, awe, for Pamuk the conjurer, the engineer of ideas, the political philosopher, the explorer of sub-cultures, the voice on the "West".

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Reading Progress

01/17/2012 "Dreamy." 3 comments
01/20/2012 "I am Liking Pamuk the conjurer, not so much Pamuk the writer"
01/26/2012
90.0% "Won't end the book before spending a good two hours anticipating the climax."
02/02/2012
100.0% "This got to be the best of Pamuk's."
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Comments (showing 1-14 of 14) (14 new)

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Tanuj Solanki hmm so this is what you took. what else?


Mohit Parikh The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Illusions by Richard Basch.


Mohit Parikh Zero words written since :| How was your weekend?


Tanuj Solanki Ok. That's not too funny. I've written a couple of poems that I may use. For a change I'm thinking in poetic terms as to how to progress the novel.


Tanuj Solanki What do you make of the book? Meanings? The 'Why's'


Mohit Parikh I have gathered some, and a lot many are to be soaked in. All 'Why's are answered, that I am sure.
The book warrants at least a second reading.


message 7: by Shovelmonkey1 (new)

Shovelmonkey1 Try Beyaz Kale (the White Castle) if you get the chance. And his autobiography Istanbul is also most excellent too.


message 8: by Shovelmonkey1 (new)

Shovelmonkey1 Try Beyaz Kale (the White Castle) if you get the chance. And his autobiography Istanbul is also most excellent too.


Mohit Parikh I would love to read Istanbul. I also liked what I saw of The Black Book.


Jigar Brahmbhatt Somehow I found it too poetic for a mystery story, and the musings of the sentimental hero were a little jarring at times. I left reading after some 50-60 pages. But I loved the overall theme and the central idea of the search. It's the writing that didn't work for me. Pamuk is one writer, like Sebald, who I need a little getting used to, I guess. I should try it again!


Mohit Parikh Yes, his writing needs some getting used to (unless one has an instant liking), and I am afraid I won't put in those efforts.
The New Life I will encourage you to pick up again. It's extremely rewarding in the end.


Tanuj Solanki Jigar wrote: "Somehow I found it too poetic for a mystery story, and the musings of the sentimental hero were a little jarring at times. I left reading after some 50-60 pages. But I loved the overall theme and t..."

Pick it up again :)


message 13: by Ian (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ian Heidin-Seek I love your review. Your reservations have a lot of insight.

I was worried that I might not like Pamuk, but so far I have fallen victim to his spell.


Mohit Parikh Thanks Ian. I have reservations for Postmodern Literature too, so it made it that much harder to love his work.
The New Life though is spellbinding. I see that you too have awarded it five stars.


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