Madonna in a Fur Coat
The bestselling Turkish classic of love and longing in a changing world, available in English for the first time.
'It is, perhaps, easier to dismiss a man whose face gives no indication of an inner life. And what a pity that is: a dash of curiosity is all it takes to stumble upon treasures we never expected.'
A shy young man leaves his home in rural Turkey to learn a...more
Our story begins as a narrator in search of work finds employment ...more
Kürk Mantolu Madonna ("Madonna in a Fur Coat") is a short but masterly novel. It is the love story of Raif Bey, a young Turkish ...more
He finds it one evening at a gallery, where he stands transfixed in front of a painting of a young woman dressed in a fur ...more
This is a tricky one to review. It's not a new story (it was originally written in the 40s), nor is it especially original: I think star-crossed lovers must be the oldest story in the world. But this one is written with such melancholy, longing, introspection and quiet passion that it turned out to be unlike any story of love lost I have read before.
A quiet, very lonely young man from Turkey goes to Berlin in the late 1920s, in order to study so he can eventually take over his ...more
My attention was drawn to Sabahattin Ali’s Madonna in a Fur Coat thanks to this compelling review in The Guardian:
According to the above-mentioned review, Sabahattin Ali’s Madonna in a Fur Coat (*) which was first published in 1943 “has ...more
Actually the story is a classic story. If you look just the summary of this book you can say i have read dozens of similar books. But depictions of the characters, their deepness and realism binds you to the characters and to the book. At the end, you laugh when they laugh and inevitably become sad when they are sad.
This was beautiful in all its layers. In other hands, Efendi's apathy towards the world would have gnawed on my nerves, but in Ali's deft hands Efendi is sympathetic and complex. Thank god, because every time I'm harsh on these characters it's always in the back of my mind that it's only because I see myself reflected in them. And I did see myself in Efendi, but... my hero, and I believe Ali's intended true hero, was Maria Puder, or the Madonna in a Fur Coat. Efendi falls in love with the self...more
At his new job in Ankara, the narrator shares an office with the taciturn Raif Efendi. Raif’s meekness borders on the exasperating. He seems to delight in taking the brunt of his superiors’ unjust beratings, he is misunderstood by his wife and children and looked down upon by practically everybody else. However, the narrator cannot help feeling that behind this exterior, Raif harbours some secret, and he longs to discover more about his mysterious colleague’s past. When, at last, Raif takes ...more
Maybe I just read it at the wrong time - in my life, of the month, or... who knows. My sense is that I just wasn't fully in the mood for - or open to getting sucked into - this ...more
“All I could feel was a terrible hollowness in my heart. A door had opened, promising the sublime, but then it had slammed shut, robbing my life of all hope and meaning. I felt as bereft as if I'd woken from the sweetest of dreams to face the pain of truth.”
Rating: 4.2 Stars
Madonna in a Fur Coat surprised me in many ways.
I thought that it had been written in contemporary times, and was simply set in the early-ish 20th century rather and it was only after reading a good part of it that I ...more
Set in 1920's Berlin we follow the story of a young Turkish man as he tries to make his way in the world. Whilst exploring Berlin's streets, bars and galleries he stumbles across a painting of a woman which changes the course of his life. He finds this painting to be so captivating that he spends most of his free time visiting the gallery ...more
This is a book of love, friends and loss. It explores the depths of your mind to find the true meaning of life. Raif is a man of hidden emotions. This novel explores the emotions and ups and downs of Raif's life, by a co-worker. At the end Raif realizes "Life is a game that is only played once , and I lost". I've never before read a book with the deep mentality of this book.
"Some passions becomes our guide through life. Wraps us in its arms. We go after them without any questions, and we know that we wont never regret."
Set in 1920's Berlin we follow a young Turkish man who stumbles across a painting of a woman. He spends most of his free time visiting the gallery and staring at this painting. And one day he meets the woman. I loved how the plot was predictable, yet Sabahattin Ali captivates the reader to keep reading.
PS: A majority of the novel is not set in Turkey. I would recommend the read for the great character sketches than a sense of ...more
Young Raif Efendi with a deep passion in art and drawing leaves the college and goes to Berlin to get some job experience to later help his dad with his family business. During his usual visit to art centres ...more
This is a really interesting novella, a young love story set in 1920's Berlin and written in late 1930's Turkey. It stems from one of my favourite periods of 20th cent lit and is very reminiscent of Stefan Zweig's work, the travel, time period, fate intervening and an obsessive love affair.
Madonna in a Fur Coat is a story within a story. The narrator shares an office in Ankara with meek, overly calm, shy Raif and becomes ...more
Actually, maybe, my favorite book.
I always apprecited Sabahattin Ali's pessimism even though i'm a hardcore optimist.
This book brings a new meaning to the "impossible love story"..
The thing is, i didn't know about this book.
When i was in high school there was a band and i was in love with their music.
The best song ot theirs was "Kürk Mantolu Madonna".
Then i searched and found this book.
I immediatly bought it, then read it in one breath. (i don't know if this is the ...more
Review copy provided by Boxwalla - November 2017
What an incredible book and one that will stay with me for quite some time. I’m hesitant to write a full review, since I’ll be discussing this with my book group in January. So, I’ll leave it without a rating or a full review until we discuss. Needless to say, it is a beautifully written and memorable book.
Maybe these so-called "love stories" just aren't my thing.
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|Play Book Tag: Madonna in a Fur Coat - Sabahattin Ali 4.25/5||1||18||Jul 28, 2018 11:57AM|
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He was born in 1907 in Eğridere township (now Ardino in southern Bulgaria) of the Sanjak of Gümülcine (now Komotini in northern Greece), in the Ottoman Empire. He lived in Istanbul, Çanakkale and Edremit before he entered the School of Education in Balıkesir. Then, he was transferred ...more