Best Friend Hooked Up With Sister Story Site Www.Reddit.Com Snow by Orhan Pamuk – Book Review

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Snow by Orhan Pamuk – Book Review

Over the course of a few snowy days in a small Turkish town, we find a poet regaining his gift, a coup overthrowing the local government, and all manner of fundamentalists talking about how much they hate the West. Snow is a view of a world that has changed and stands still. A place where poverty and torture are normal daily occurrences. A place where young girls who are banned from wearing headscarves are committing suicide.

Not surprisingly, Orhan Pamuk’s cast of characters have names I’m familiar with. There are many talks I have never heard about a once great Turkish leader named Atatürk. There is food and drink – like raki, which is beyond my experience. For all their strangeness, I still recognize at least a little, the love-struck poet Ka, who is the hero of the story. Who among us has never been in love?

I find Snow surprisingly entertaining, as it surprises me by pulling my Western self out of the role of reader and into that of participant. I find myself thinking of old-fashioned imperialist thinking when I hear about the terrible conditions in this horrible place called Kars. If we could build a few Starbucks and a Home Depot, everything would be better. Then, as I think about these thoughts of nation building, one of the characters will complain about how Westerners want to come and make everything Western. Obviously the speaker doesn’t think this would be a good idea, so I’m forced to think, why not Could it be a good idea?

The novel is setup as a long story told by a friend. A friend who can’t help but give bits and pieces that are too juicy to wait for their right time and place. The predicate takes the form of the future perfect-His beautiful green eyes, one of which would be shattered by a bullet in 47 minutes, stared intently at Ka.. Like the opening sentence of 100 Years of Solitude, a little goes a long way. I soon got tired of the narrator telling me what was going to happen and who was going to die and then returning to the mundane business of storytelling.

If snow is my only window into the world of Turkish men, it’s a world I’m glad to clear. They are a cold and a lot of murders in the small town of Kars. Or they are cowards hiding in their basements. Or they are insurgents waiting for their own opportunity to murder and revolt. Women are victims who refuse to admit being victims. Everyone is drinking raki and staring out the window at the huge snowfall.

The story features two beautiful sisters, each a perfect woman in her own way. Our sad sack poet fell in love with both at one point or another. He marvels at their eyes, their faces, their large breasts, and that one of the sisters is willing to go back to Germany with him. He falls madly in love with their bodies, so much so that he later finds a porn star who resembles the sisters and he buys all her tapes.

Germany is often mentioned in the story, apparently every Turk who wants to escape Turkey ends up in Germany. The Germans don’t seem to be happy about it. Germany also represents the West in the story, as the poet is supposed to be a reporter for a German newspaper. This leads to all sorts of debates about what, exactly, this little flyspeck of a city should call the West.

The snow layout finally defeated me. The entire story is told as a long series of flashbacks within flashbacks and its endless prophecies of what is going to happen, what has already happened and how our poor narrator follows Kaa’s footsteps and falls in love, getting tangled up in his own story. One of the sisters herself.

In the end it is the story of an unimportant man, writing unimportant poems, and a meaningless death. Better to keep the window closed in the lonely little town of Kars. The larger theme of the threat of Islam taking over the world is pushed aside and eventually forgotten. All larger ideas are ignored as the novel narrows to one man’s obsession and then transcends this man and fades into meaninglessness. Snow had a lot of potential, but it lost its way.

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