Pbwritr's Reviews > The Museum of Innocence

The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk
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's review
Dec 23, 09

bookshelves: foreign, dramatic-fiction
Read in December, 2009

What a book! The change in the main character froom the beginning occurs os skillfully and subtly that the reader is almost unaware of it and simply floats along on the tide. Set in Turkey in 1975, a young wealthy and educated man about to be engaged in a lavish affair, meets a very young, distant cousin and begins and passionate affair with her. Naively, he believes he can keep a mistress and wife with no one being hurt. But his fiancee learns of it and breaks off the engagement, and his young love disappears for a year. Once he finds her again, Kemal takes, finds, buys and stores relics relating to Fusun, and spends time with her and her family. It's hard to discern how Fusun actually feels about him during her marriage with someone else and it seems too pat to have her die when she's finally free to be with Kemal. Talk about a flow of words about thoughts and feelings! The author does an amazing job of showing the thought processes of men and women, young and old, in the upper Turkish class about relationships between men and women, particularly before marriage and how it affects reputations, even when the participants view themselves as westernized and modern.
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Daven I agree - just finished this, and "what a book!" It is such a different novel than I've read in a long time. Though I ended up giving it five stars, I can't say that I really loved it; there were times I was very frustrated with it and its tedium - but I was compelled by how Pamuk would sustain this character's obsession, and where it would end up leading.

Caution though - your review has a major spoiler re: Fusun!

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