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3.59  ·  Rating details ·  43,616 ratings  ·  3,755 reviews
One of multiple covers for ISBN 9780375706868.

A spellbinding tale of disparate yearnings – for love, art, power, and God – set in a remote Turkish town, where stirrings of political Islamism threaten to unravel the secular order; by the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature.

From the acclaimed author of My Name Is Red comes a spellbinding tale of disparate yearnings
Paperback, First Vintage International Edition, August 2005, 463 pages
Published August 2005 by Vintage Books (first published 2002)
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G Hawes It starts slow and progresses to being slow and tedious ... I kept waiting for something worthwhile or interesting to happen, but remained disappointe…moreIt starts slow and progresses to being slow and tedious ... I kept waiting for something worthwhile or interesting to happen, but remained disappointed. Watching paint dry is as interesting, and less frustrating.(less)
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Shaista Banu All through the book one can see that Ka's character, like that of most people in real-life, is flawed. His personal thoughts also reflect that. Add t…moreAll through the book one can see that Ka's character, like that of most people in real-life, is flawed. His personal thoughts also reflect that. Add to that his desperation for Ipek and his intense desire to take her back to Germany with him. Considering these, it is quite possible for him to have revealed Blue's location to the police. Complacent and listless he may have seemed, but what strikes more after his meeting with Ipek is his desperation for a happy life. So, doesn't come across as contradictory to me. (less)

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Average rating 3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  43,616 ratings  ·  3,755 reviews

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A mystery.
A social case study.
A culture clash.
A literary masterpiece.
Unreliable narrators.
Political campaigns.
Multiple truths.
Diverse realities.
Deeply moving characters.
Darkly funny storylines.
Religious fundamentalism.
Arrogant humanism.
Liberal press coverage.
Fake News.
National identity divergences.

This novel contains so many different strands, I am hopelessly incapable of reviewing it. Ever since I first read it, just after Orhan Pamuk received the Nobel Prize, it has been one
Feb 28, 2008 rated it did not like it
After finishing this book I felt virtuous, relieved. Then baffled, irritated, and finally dismissive. Other Good Reads reviewers express the desire to like this book, but proceed to be confused, bored, and insecure. Most wrap up with the dismal feeling that they didn’t GET it, and so didn’t succeed in really liking it. I felt the same, but in addition was supremely annoyed and turned off by it. I’m not so good at post-modern fiction to begin with, but I decided to leave my bias at the door becau ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Kar = Snow, c2002, Orhan Pamuk

Snow, is a novel by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk. Published in Turkish in 2002, it was translated into English by Maureen Freely and published in 2004.

The story encapsulates many of the political and cultural tensions of modern Turkey and successfully combines humor, social commentary, mysticism, and a deep sympathy with its characters.

Ka is a poet, who returns to Turkey after 12 years of political exile in Germany. He has several motives, first, as a journalist, to
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those wanting a complex and provocative read
Recommended to Jaidee by: have been wanting to read this for years
Shelves: five-stars-books
5 " provocative, desolate, yearnful" stars !!

10th Favorite Read of 2017 (tie)

To read Snow is to laugh loudly and cry quietly.

Kars, a small city in northeast Turkey, a backwater that had glory days and multiple conquerings over the centuries. There are Turks, Kurds, Azeris and a few Russians. Most of the men are unemployed and spend their days in teahouses discussing politics and religion. They are demoralized and oppress their women and children.

Ka is a poet of Turkish descent who now lives
Oct 04, 2008 rated it did not like it
Nine Reasons I (strongly) disliked this book:

1. The author made himself a character in his story. I just don't like that. I always wonder if they had writer's block and couldn't invent a fictional character to take the reins.

2. A snowflake diagram of poetry is involved. I'll say no more.

3. The men in this novel are whiny, infantile, and fall in love with every woman they encounter.

4. In the same paragraph the female lead character is described as seething in hatred and laughing adoringly at th
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: turkish
An Aorist Country

Religion is rarely about dogma or belief and almost always about membership in a group and the feeling of belonging it creates. Snow is an absurdist novel about religion as community and its communal conflicts.

The protagonist, Ka, is a sort of thirty-something adolescent who finds himself in a blizzard, in love, in a state ruled by paranoia, and in the midst of a local revolution begun by a provincial theatre-group (remarkably like a Turkish version of Heinrich Boll's Clown). Th
Bill Kerwin
May 09, 2008 rated it liked it

The expatriate poet Ka returns to his native Turkey ostensibly to investigate a growing number of suicides among "head scarf girls" for an article in a German newspaper, but actually to reconnect with the beautiful divorcee Ipek whom he knew in college. While there, he is caught up in religious and political intrigue.

I thought the book was too long, and the characters didn't interest me much, but I really liked the way Nobel prize winner Pamuk creates the atmosphere of the small city of Kars (a
Jim Fonseca
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: turkish-authors
Written in 2002, this novel predates Pamuk’s winning of the Nobel Prize in 2006. The main character is a Turkish emigre, one of many who live in Germany. He is returning home after years away. We are told he ran into political difficulties with his poetry and decided to leave Turkey. He returns to Turkey ostensibly for his mother’s funeral, but he has also learned through the grapevine that an old flame of his is now divorced. His instinct is that this journey will change his life.

Once back in
Mutasim Billah
“It was as if he were in a place that the whole world had forgotten; as if it were snowing at the end of the world.”

My first foray into Pamuk territory, Snow is a book about an exiled poet returning to his hometown under the pretense of writing a journalistic article on a suicide epidemic. In his hometown of Kars, our poet encounters snow: a snowfall that changes things for him forever.

A blizzard
A military coup
A theatrical massacre
Encounters with love and betrayal
Violent fundamentalists and the
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
(view spoiler) ...more
Jan 22, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2021
Snow by Orhan Pamuk is literary fiction that brings some tough themes to the reader. Political intrigue, philosophy, romance, secularism, religious fanaticism, East-West relations, radicalism, Western ideals, suicide, murder, and torture are all explored in this novel.

Ka is a Turkish poet who has recently returned to Turkey from Germany after 12 years as a political exile. While he comes back for his mother’s funeral, he also heard that a girlfriend has recently divorced her husband and head
Michael Finocchiaro
Pamuk's description of the delicate (and frequently upset) balance between secular and religious fanaticism in modern Turkey is a gripping story. It is told from a pseudo-autobiographical viewpoint (like DFW's The Pale King) and follows the (mis)adventures of the exiled poet Ka in his return to a town visited in his youth near the Armenian and Georgian borders of eastern Anatolia. The characters are drawn in a deeply compelling manner and there is so much happening that one is surprised at the r ...more
Apr 10, 2007 rated it it was ok
This novel has won a zillion prizes, and has received deafening international acclaim for the way it takes on the "clash of the Islamic fundamentalist East & secular West while retaining the humanity of its characters." I DISAGREE.
The book starts out fine, but it devolves into this really odd stream-of-consciousness craziness that feels like a fever dream and makes little sense of events at the end. In addition, the narrator keeps telling you what’s going to happen – big stuff, like deaths, etc.
Sep 02, 2007 rated it really liked it
I read a few sample pages of Snow in the bookstore, drawn by its blurry, snowy cover; drawn by a recent New York Times review; drawn by its non-westernized roots in Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk; drawn, too, by curiosity at this recent Nobel Prize winner for literature. The first few pages mesmerized me, the scene of a Turkish poet riding a bus through the snow capturing my imagination even as I left the bookstore.

"The silence of snow, thought the man sitting just behind the bus driver. If this we
Spider the Doof Warrior
Jul 28, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-hate-this-book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liza Bolitzer
Sep 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I have to say, it's been a while since I liked a novel as much as this one and it's been even longer that I've had the chance to lie on a beach and read for a week, so I will say that you may want to take this review with a grain of sand. Pamuk reminded me of what really defines a novel, what moves it beyond a series of events and into a world and Pamuk's Kars is certainly its own world, full of characters whose degree of nuance is exactly as deep as those in a real place--in life you don't know ...more
Sidharth Vardhan
"To play the rebel heroine in Turkey, you don't pull off your scarf, you put it on"

If you were interested in the whole controversy raised by ban of veil in France a few years ago, then this book too might interest you. It is based on real events in a modern and secular Turkey. Here too there is a ban on wearing head-scarves in universities and like, though this is in a country where the majority of the population is Muslim but rulers are still liberals (or rather ultra-liberals). As a conseq
Apr 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: east-and-west, turkey
I read excellent reviews here ; which convinced me that I can not add any new ! but since I am a Muslim & An Arab ; I could feel a lot of the depth of this book which showed me Turkey with a very cruel -but caring- anatomy that even the brilliant sarcasm made it more painful! By considering this fictional book as a new and useful approach for me to what are not so far different wounds from ours ; I will write my words …

For me ; it is a magnificent novel , a heart breaking one ; discussing the co
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: the reader who desires a book that searches the soul
Shelves: nobels, fiction
And the quiet of this empty city was as if the world had come to an end, and it was snowing.

If this were the beginning of a poem, he would have called the thing he felt inside him the silence of snow.

He walked the city in the cold, alone with his poems. Around him, snowflakes formed a blanket of white silence. He traversed Kars, a remote city in Turkey, where he found the poor forgotten, where democracy he saw was nonexistent and the Western world shunned. He, a prodigal son, never fully welcome
Nov 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
I would not have finished this book except for reading it for the book club. I haven't been this bored by a book in a long time. ...more
Jan 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: turkish-lit
Surah Al-Ahzaab, Verse #59
‘O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks veils all over their bodies that is most convenient that they should be known and not molested: and Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful."

Ka is travelling by bus: a white scenario outside unfolds: it’s snow, relentlessly falling…and he falls asleep.

Ka, or Kerim Alakuşoğlu, a Turkish poet, returns to Kars, an old and small city north-east of Turkey. Kerim, a 42-year
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
The country known as Turkey is a strange and important place. It chose a sectarian path for its government after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and for the past two decades it has moved closer and closer to Islam. It has great resources, great antiquities, and great poverty. Its people are more "Westernized" than most others in the region. It has hinted that it wants a much larger role on the world stage. It is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Association and has been waiting to have its me ...more
Dec 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with an interest in Turkish politics, soul seekers, outsiders, writers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth (Alaska)
Apr 24, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
This book came to my attention nearly 4 years ago, soon after I became a member of Goodreads. So, when it came up as an option for this quarter's challenge, I happily put it on my list. I was too stubborn to put it down.

The prose is pedestrian and uninteresting, occasionally boring. There is no real character development. The women are beautiful (or fat), and one of the important, but minor, characters has blue eyes. That doesn't count as character development.

My biggest objection, however, is
This is my second read from Orhan Pamuk. The first, The Museum Of Innocence, was immediately shelved as an all time favorite, so expectations were high for Snow. That being said, I was a little disappointed, probably largely attributed to the fact that this was also a political intrigue plot, something I have never had much interest in. However, I had no difficulties recognizing the melodious, picturesque prose with the power to seduce me into another, forgotten world that I so loved from The Mu ...more
This is my fourth Pamuk novel and the more of his work i read, the more i want to read his work. The first one i read, i read in college: The White Castle. All i can remember is that i really liked it and it made me want to read Pamuk (i need to re-read it now). Then a few years out of college, i got My Name is Red and tried to read it. This was well before goodreads and i didn't have anyone to save me from frustration, so i stopped reading it thinking i'd take it up later at some point. I read ...more
Nov 21, 2015 rated it liked it
I work with someone from Bulgaria, and from time to time she gets so gloomy that I simply have to say (with a smile), "Could you, for God's sake, stop being so Eastern European?" Thus with this book, which is set in Eastern Turkey (more Asia than Europe, but still...).

This novel falls squarely into the category of books I admire far more than I love. Into this same file folder I would place masterpieces such as The Brothers Karamazov and Les Misérables, but with those the brilliance of the story
(3.5) This novel seems to be based around an elaborate play on words: it’s set in Kars, the Turkish town where the protagonist, a poet known by the initials Ka, becomes stranded by the snow (Kar in Turkish). Ka is back in Turkey, after 12 years spent in political exile in Germany, for his mother’s funeral. While he’s here, he decides to investigate a recent spate of female suicides, keep tabs on the upcoming election, and see if he can win the love of Ipek, who is an old friend and also the daug ...more
Just arrived from Israel.

This is the story of a Turkish poet Ka who after living in exile in Frankfurt returns to to the town of Kars in order to investigate the suicide of religious girls forbidden to wear their head scarves. In the meantime a military coup takes place at the National Theatre when soldiers just shoot several people among the audience including some persons known by Ka. Some religious aspects come naturally into the plot.

In my opinion this book is a masterpiece of the contempora
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
There are books that besides being captivating by the fluidity and prowess of the narrative, also offer a sense of implicit wisdom and belonging. This book enters that category. It might be redundant for this review to state so considering the renowned dexterity of the Nobel awarded author, nonetheless, such sensibility discerned along the redaction was a surprising contentment.

While the topics covered by the book are quite complex to elaborate on in a novel (for instance the social perception o
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Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul in 1952 and grew up in a large family similar to those which he describes in his novels Cevdet Bey and His Sons and The Black Book, in the wealthy westernised district of Nisantasi. As he writes in his autobiographical book Istanbul, from his childhood until the age of 22 he devoted himself largely to painting and dreamed of becoming an artist. After graduating fro ...more

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