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İlk aşk deneyimi bütün bir hayatı belirler mi? Yoksa kaderimizi çizen yalnızca tarihin ve efsanelerin gücü müdür? Orhan Pamuk, Yapı Kredi Yayınları’ndan çıkan yeni romanı “Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın”da bizi otuz yıl önce İstanbul yakınlarındaki bir kasabada liseli bir gencin yaşadığı sarsıcı bir aşk hikâyesiyle, büyük bir insani suçun peşinden sürüklüyor. 1980'lerin ortasında gelene İlk aşk deneyimi bütün bir hayatı belirler mi? Yoksa kaderimizi çizen yalnızca tarihin ve efsanelerin gücü müdür? Orhan Pamuk, Yapı Kredi Yayınları’ndan çıkan yeni romanı “Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın”da bizi otuz yıl önce İstanbul yakınlarındaki bir kasabada liseli bir gencin yaşadığı sarsıcı bir aşk hikâyesiyle, büyük bir insani suçun peşinden sürüklüyor. 1980'lerin ortasında geleneksel usulle kuyu kazan Mahmut Usta ile çırağı "küçük bey" Cem zor bir arazide su ararlarken, kasabanın hemen dışındaki sarı çadırda esrarengiz bir tiyatrocu kadın her gece eski masal ve hikayeleri yeniden anlatmaktadır. Roman, bir yandan genç kahramanın aşk, kıskançlık, sorumluluk ve özgürlük duygularıyla derinden tanışmasını hikaye ederken, diğer yandan medeniyetler üzerinden babalar ve oğullar; "otoriterlik" ve birey olma konularını tartışıyor. Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın'da okur, Batı'nın ve Doğu'nun iki temel efsanesi Sophokles'in Kral Oidipus'u (babayı öldürmek) ile Firdevsi'nin "Rüstem ve Sührab"ıyla (oğulu öldürmek) yeniden karşılaşacak ve kendine sıradan hayatlarımızın eski metinlerden ne kadar etkilendiği sorusunu soracak. "Pamuk, en iyi kitaplarını Nobel'den sonra yazan eşsiz bir yazar." - Independent, Londra Kitabın kapağında İngiliz sanatçı Dante Gabriel Rosetti’nin “Regina Cordium” adlı çalışması sergilenmektedir. Kitabın kapak tasarımı “Mehmet Ulusel”, tasarım uygulaması “Arzu Yaraş”, ve dizgisi “Akgül Yıldız” tarafından yapılmıştır.


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İlk aşk deneyimi bütün bir hayatı belirler mi? Yoksa kaderimizi çizen yalnızca tarihin ve efsanelerin gücü müdür? Orhan Pamuk, Yapı Kredi Yayınları’ndan çıkan yeni romanı “Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın”da bizi otuz yıl önce İstanbul yakınlarındaki bir kasabada liseli bir gencin yaşadığı sarsıcı bir aşk hikâyesiyle, büyük bir insani suçun peşinden sürüklüyor. 1980'lerin ortasında gelene İlk aşk deneyimi bütün bir hayatı belirler mi? Yoksa kaderimizi çizen yalnızca tarihin ve efsanelerin gücü müdür? Orhan Pamuk, Yapı Kredi Yayınları’ndan çıkan yeni romanı “Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın”da bizi otuz yıl önce İstanbul yakınlarındaki bir kasabada liseli bir gencin yaşadığı sarsıcı bir aşk hikâyesiyle, büyük bir insani suçun peşinden sürüklüyor. 1980'lerin ortasında geleneksel usulle kuyu kazan Mahmut Usta ile çırağı "küçük bey" Cem zor bir arazide su ararlarken, kasabanın hemen dışındaki sarı çadırda esrarengiz bir tiyatrocu kadın her gece eski masal ve hikayeleri yeniden anlatmaktadır. Roman, bir yandan genç kahramanın aşk, kıskançlık, sorumluluk ve özgürlük duygularıyla derinden tanışmasını hikaye ederken, diğer yandan medeniyetler üzerinden babalar ve oğullar; "otoriterlik" ve birey olma konularını tartışıyor. Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın'da okur, Batı'nın ve Doğu'nun iki temel efsanesi Sophokles'in Kral Oidipus'u (babayı öldürmek) ile Firdevsi'nin "Rüstem ve Sührab"ıyla (oğulu öldürmek) yeniden karşılaşacak ve kendine sıradan hayatlarımızın eski metinlerden ne kadar etkilendiği sorusunu soracak. "Pamuk, en iyi kitaplarını Nobel'den sonra yazan eşsiz bir yazar." - Independent, Londra Kitabın kapağında İngiliz sanatçı Dante Gabriel Rosetti’nin “Regina Cordium” adlı çalışması sergilenmektedir. Kitabın kapak tasarımı “Mehmet Ulusel”, tasarım uygulaması “Arzu Yaraş”, ve dizgisi “Akgül Yıldız” tarafından yapılmıştır.

30 review for Kırmızı Saçlı Kadın

  1. 5 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    DIG and RUN!!!!!! ....... I became transfixed by thoughts, questions, opinions, and judgments about Cem --- taking the train back home to Istanbul when he did... at the end of Part I of this story. There are three parts to this novel. Each are different-- related & connected, but different. The novel comes together brilliantly at the end..... but this is one twisted story!!!! My goodness! A familiar lovelorn pursuit, took me back to "The Museum of Innocence". Similar to "The Museum of Innocenc DIG and RUN!!!!!! ....... I became transfixed by thoughts, questions, opinions, and judgments about Cem --- taking the train back home to Istanbul when he did... at the end of Part I of this story. There are three parts to this novel. Each are different-- related & connected, but different. The novel comes together brilliantly at the end..... but this is one twisted story!!!! My goodness! A familiar lovelorn pursuit, took me back to "The Museum of Innocence". Similar to "The Museum of Innocence", I was expecting deluded hopes for 16 year old Cem, but the bigger surprise, was when things took another path. The Red-Haired Woman - much older -reciprocates in an evening of sexual escapades. Cem is a well- digger apprentice for a *MASTER* Mahmut on the outskirts of Istanbul. The 'master' is domineering, very strict, and expects Cem to obey his orders - DO AS HE SAYS!! Often - in Orhan Pamuk's books - there comes a moment when it feels like 'nails-on-the-chalkboard' for me: DIGGING & DIGGING & DIGGING......if you've 'ever' had fantasies about being a well digger... haha -- this book should end that fantasy! But.... all digging and work without a little fun for a 16 year old boy - would be a killer -- so-- Cem finds 'enjoyment' resting under his favorite walnut tree - and visiting the traveling "Tent of Morality Tales", with lust to watch The Red Haired Woman perform. However- even though Cem was melting in 'sexual- love- heaven' from having lost his virginity.... an accident at work sends Cem skipping town.... he leaves his Master at the bottom of the well whom he presumes to be dead. But is he? Dig and Run Back in Istanbul, we get a modern experience of the city, bookstores, cafés, the University which Cem becomes a geology student...and gets married. Thirty years later -- his incomplete life comes back for a visit.... TWISTED -- twisted twisted twisted...... and very enjoyable!!! 4.5.....I took a 1/2 mark off.... because if I had to keep experiencing the DIGGING, I thought I was going to die of thirst and or scream!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Esil

    3.75 stars. In the late 1980s, I travelled to Turkey with my soon to be husband. We had just finished university, had little money and were in search of adventure. It was certainly an interesting trip and we have often talked about going back to Turkey, but I am also aware that traveling in a country when you don't know the language and have no real means of getting to know people isn't really a great way to get to know a country. This was my first book by Orhan Pamuk. But I feel that the two da 3.75 stars. In the late 1980s, I travelled to Turkey with my soon to be husband. We had just finished university, had little money and were in search of adventure. It was certainly an interesting trip and we have often talked about going back to Turkey, but I am also aware that traveling in a country when you don't know the language and have no real means of getting to know people isn't really a great way to get to know a country. This was my first book by Orhan Pamuk. But I feel that the two days spent reading The Red-Haired Woman gave me a more intimate look at Turkey in the late 1980s than my trip of almost 30 years ago. The narrator of this novel recounts the summer when he was 16 years old, working as an apprentice to a well digger in a small town outside of Istanbul. While getting to know the master well digger, the narrator also becomes fascinated by an older red-haired woman. Move forward thirty years, and the apprentice is a wealthy businessman in a much changed Turkey, but he is not freed from what happened the summer when he was 16 years old. Reading The Red-Haired Woman feels like a rich multi-layered experience. Pamuk delves into Turkey's political situation, mixing in history and mythology. There's also a bit of a mystery and some moral complexity. This wasn't quite a 4 star read because it didn't always hold my attention, but I did mostly enjoy reading it and especially I appreciated the opportunity for what felt like an intimate view of contemporary Turkey. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an opportunity to read an advance copy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hugh

    This is a difficult one to assess as a whole. It is shorter than most of Pamuk's novels and mostly written in quite simple language. It is partly a story of modern Turkey and its politics, partly a study of father-son relationships and partly a retelling of Oedipus and the Persian legend Rostam and Sohrab. The story falls into three parts, each of which is quite distinct. The first part is both the simplest and the easiest to like. The narrator Cem tells of a job he took after his father, who was This is a difficult one to assess as a whole. It is shorter than most of Pamuk's novels and mostly written in quite simple language. It is partly a story of modern Turkey and its politics, partly a study of father-son relationships and partly a retelling of Oedipus and the Persian legend Rostam and Sohrab. The story falls into three parts, each of which is quite distinct. The first part is both the simplest and the easiest to like. The narrator Cem tells of a job he took after his father, who was involved in a left wing group, had disappeared and before his university entrance exams. This involved working as an apprentice to a traditional well-digger. The story describes the process of well-digging and Cem's relationship with his master, a father figure who tells him stories. Cem becomes obsessed with the red-haired woman of the title, and eventually discovers that she works in a travelling theatre with her husband. This part comes to a dramatic conclusion (view spoiler)[when he attends one of their performances, spends the night with her and consequently is the cause of an accident at the well the next day in which he believes his master to be dead. (hide spoiler)] . In the second part the older narrator continues the story and describes his progression, first in marrying, then by running a company that invests in developing new suburbs of Istanbul, one of which is the town in which the first part is set. (view spoiler)[The company becomes very successful, Cem discovers that his master survived and succeeded in finding water and completing the well, and that the red-haired woman was a former lover of his father, and the son of the red-haired woman claims that Cem is his father. This story also builds to a dramatic confrontation in which Cem is led by a man claiming to be his son's friend to see the well, eventually revealing himself as the son, leading to a fight in which Cem's gun is fired. So if the first part paralleled Oedipus, this is closer to Rostam and Sohrab. (hide spoiler)] The third part is related by the red-haired woman, which made for an interesting change of perspective (view spoiler)[ but for me became too clever and self-referential. The son is in prison accused of Cem's murder, and she visits him and tells him her story and Cem's. She encourages him to write his father's story, which explains how the first two parts came to be written (hide spoiler)] . My problems were partly that Pamuk tried to do too much, and lost the wonderful directness of the first part, and partly that in order to retell the two legends, there was rather too much explanation of these before they are shown to prefigure the plot, thus rather destroying any surprise value as they are played out. These are minor quibbles - the book is a very enjoyable read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jibran

    Life follows myth. So it does. The story draws upon two ancient myths. Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, in which the son kills the father (unknowingly) and Ferdawsi’s Rustam and Sohrab taken from The Persian Book of Kings Shahnameh, which is a reversal of Oedipus Rex in that it is the father who kills the son (again, unknowingly) and the string of events that lead to both deaths and the consequences the murderers face for their sui generis crimes. The two contradictory yet complementing myths become the pa Life follows myth. So it does. The story draws upon two ancient myths. Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, in which the son kills the father (unknowingly) and Ferdawsi’s Rustam and Sohrab taken from The Persian Book of Kings Shahnameh, which is a reversal of Oedipus Rex in that it is the father who kills the son (again, unknowingly) and the string of events that lead to both deaths and the consequences the murderers face for their sui generis crimes. The two contradictory yet complementing myths become the parameters in which the story of the eponymous Red-Haired Woman and her accidental lover is set. This is by no means a retelling or adaptation of the either myth; quite the contrary. Here the protagonists are very conscious of the power of the afore-mentioned myth, study it, research it, try to steer clear of it, and yet see events unfold in their lives that ultimately come to a point where the myth is no longer an ancient story tucked away in books but being played right before their eyes against their will. Starting from his previous novel, The Strangeness in My Mind,, there has been a fundamental shift in Pamuk's style and the subject he deals with. He abandoned the elite and middle classes and their identity problems to tell the stories of Turkey’s - in particular Istanbul’s - underprivileged people, the have-nots. In addition to that he chronicled the changes being wrought in Istanbul as a result of unplanned turbo-ubanisation and the fast disappearance of old arts and crafts in the age of consumerist capitalism and its compulsions. The Red-Haired Woman continues in the same vein. It’s about the forgotten people with their now dispensable arts and now obsolete political rivalries, and the fundamental geographical and social changes that were taking place in his beloved Istanbul during the transitory period of the last quarter of the 20th century and, by extension, in Turkey. In his previous novel he told the story of a family of rural boza sellers but in this novel it’s about the old and dying art of manual well-digging. I was particularly interested in that part and found it fascinating, perhaps because I could relate to some of it. I am old enough to remember the dying days of well-digging and functioning wells when I was growing up as a kid back in my village; a few hazy memories of the well that watered vegetables in the backyard of our country house before it had to be closed up and filled with earth when elders decided to install electrical water-pumps to draw up groundwater. That was in Pakistan and this story is from Turkey, but it was pretty much the same in both places. The wells haven't totally disappeared. You can still find them in more remote areas around sparsely populated hamlets where old pastoral and agrarian life continues to this day. Pamuk spends a lot of pages to describe the finer details of well-digging through the story of one Master Mehmut, the master Well-digger, who takes our main protagonist, Cem, the narrator of two-third of the story, as his apprentice. Things happen that cause Cem to abandon his master and run away and begin a new life in the heart of Istanbul. Then we have a fast-paced narrative that covers decades before the turn of events bring him back to confront his old and buried secret. Cem, fully aware of the guiding myths of his life, tries to maneuver away from them but as fate would have it he’s unable to do so. The book is designed unevenly and I felt the middle part of the story was rushed, as though the writer didn't want it to go beyond 250 printed pages, or couldn't wait to get to the end of the story to reconnect with the events in the early years of Cem. I also felt that Pamuk tried too hard to interpret the myths for us. He kind of over-explained them to the point that we already knew what's going to happen in the end. That was, in my opinion, a weak spot and a big one. All in all it's a good book but not a great one, despite Pamuk's attempt to give it a solid intellectual foundation by incorporating literary myths. TRANSLATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS? I am a fan of Orhan Pamuk but I have to admit that both this one as well as his previous novel, The Strangeness, are quite prosaic and conventionally told. The lyrical, intense, and rich style of his older, pre-Nobel novels seems to have disappeared. Some reviewers have suggested it might have to do with the new translator, one Ekin Oklap, after Maureen Freely, the erstwhile translator of his top-rated books, was let go. But I don’t quite think this is the case. You can easily recognise and love Pamuk’s style in Snow, The Black Book, The Museum of Innocence, The White Castle, and My Name is Red. The first three are translated by Maureen Freely but the last two are translated by Victoria Holbrook and Erdağ Göknar respectively (and Göknar’s one translation happens to be the best of all). This means that what we know of Pamuk’s style and voice isn’t reliant on the translations of Maureen Freely alone. If three translators between themselves could maintain his style in five books there is no reason why Ekin Oklap would not have been able to do the same. Since I don’t know any Turkish to compare with the originals, I have to deduce from the above that it’s not really Ekin Oklap’s fault but Pamuk’s own style has undergone a change in his recent writings. I’ve argued elsewhere that he might be running out of steam, which isn’t an uncommon phenomenon, even with good writers. You can detect a writer’s literary weariness when you read Marquez’s swansong, Memories of My Melancholy Whores; and not surprisingly, being as scrupulous as he was, he didn’t write anything during the last 20 years of his life. It might just be time for Pamuk to sit back and think hard about what he is going to write next or whether he’s going to write anything at all. October '18

  5. 4 out of 5

    Paul Fulcher

    As a fatherless son, so a sonless father will be embraced by none. from Ferdowski's Shahnameh (and the epigraph to this novel) I had wanted to be a writer. But after the events I am about to describe, I studied engineer in geology and became a building contractor. Even So, readers shouldn't conclude from my telling the story now that it is over, that I've put it all behind me. The more I remember, the deeper I fall into it. Perhaps you, too, will follow, lured by the enigma of father and sons. The As a fatherless son, so a sonless father will be embraced by none. from Ferdowski's Shahnameh (and the epigraph to this novel) I had wanted to be a writer. But after the events I am about to describe, I studied engineer in geology and became a building contractor. Even So, readers shouldn't conclude from my telling the story now that it is over, that I've put it all behind me. The more I remember, the deeper I fall into it. Perhaps you, too, will follow, lured by the enigma of father and sons. The Red-Haired Woman is the latest novel from Orhan Pamuk, one of those authors of whose books I am a completist, and this, while not perhaps hitting the Nobel-Prize worthy heights of his greatest work Snow, is another excellent addition to his works and my shelves. [Review updated with some comments from an excellent reading and illustrated discussion between Orhan Pamuk and Boyd Tonkin at London's Southbank in September 2017] At 250 pages it is much more compact than his last novel, the Dickensian A Strangeness in My Mind, but equally enjoyable and worthwhile, the relatively sparse story balanced by an interesting take on father/son relationships rooted in classical epics, but with also links back to Pamuk's earlier works. And as with A Strangeness in My Mind, the translation by Ekin Oklap who has supplanted Maureen Freely (translator of Museum of Innocence and Snow). Again (my review of the previous book: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...) the prose does appear more prosaic than Pamuk's earlier works, but whether this is a feature of the original, or indeed truer to Pamuk's prose generally, is difficult for me to say. Pamuk himself, it must be said, commented that he is a big fan of the translation, which is the ultimate endorsement. The narrator [of most of the novel] begins the story living in Istanbul with his mother, his father, a middle-class pharmacist but also a leftist activist, having, after several periods of prolonged absence both while politically active and while detained by the authorities, finally permanently left the family home and re-married. He is cramming for his university exams, hoping to study literature, and takes on a summer-job in Öngören, a small town 30 miles from Istanbul as an apprentice to a well-digger. Master Mahmut is one of the last practitioners of an art that had existed for thousands of years, although rather dismissive of some of the more elaborate rituals with divining rods and whispered prayers of some of his peers. Cem comments: These particular skills led some of the old well-diggers to become convinced that, like the shamans of Central Asia, they, too, were in possession of supernatural powers and the gift of extrasensory perception, allowing them to commune with subterranean gods and jinn. I remember as a child hearing my father laugh at such tales, but those longing for cheap ways to find water wanted to believe them ... when well-diggers crouched amongst the creepers and pecking hens in those back gardens, listening to the soil, old men and middle-aged ladies would treat them with the reverence usually reserved for the doctor putting his ear to the sick baby's chest. The reality of digging wells, as Cem soons discovers, is of back-breaking and dangerous work. Pamuk describes this in almost painful detail, and at first it appears the novel is largely telling the story of a dying craft in the same way as the boza seller in A Strangeness in My Mind. Pamuk himself had been wanting to tell the story of a well-digger looking for water in apparently barren-land ever since he met one while writing his The Black Book over 25 years earlier. But as Master Mahmut and Cem rest in their tent each night from their exertions, the old man tells the apprentice stories, including that of Joseph, favourite son of his father, and abandoned down a well by his brothers. The well-digger draws the moral from the story that A father must be fair. A father who isn't fair will blind his son. The next night, particularly tired after striking rock in his digging, Master Mahmut asks Cem to contribute a story of his own. Cem, presumably prompted by the talk of fathers, sons and blindness, tells the well-digger the story of Oedipus. which leads Mahmut to conclude that no one can escape their fate. In the town, the 16 year-old Cem captures sight of the eponymous red-haired woman, in her thirties but mysterious and alluring. She turns out to be part of a small troupe of performing artists, The Theatre of Morality Tales, and when Cem watches her performance, it concludes with a powerful scene that he later, after researching the story, finds is that of Rostam and Sohrab from the Persian epic poem Shahnameh. In a reversal of the Greek story, here the father Rostam ends up, unknowingly, fighting and killing his son Sohrab. After the rather drawn out (pun intended) process of digging the well, Cem's time in the town comes to an abrupt end, and the narrative rather accelerates, when he first sleeps with the red-haired woman and then an accident occurs at the well. He returns to Istanbul where he contemplates both what happens, but also the two tales of Oedipus and of Rostam and Sohrab. In the Oedipal tale he seems particularly fascinating with how he could end up sleeping with his mother (a woman at least sixteen years older than he was. I tried both couldn't imagine what that was like), an odd failure of imagination given that was the exact age-gap to his red-haired lover. And the story of Rostam and Sohrab is one he needs to rediscover. As the islamist Blue explains to the secular modernist Ka in Pamuk's wonderful Snow.Once upon a time, millions of people knew it by heart — from Tabriz to Istanbul, from Bosnia to Trabzon — and when they recalled this story, they found the meaning in their lives. The story spoke to them in just the same way that Oedipus’ murder of his father or Macbeth’s obsession with power and death speak to people throughout the Western world. But now, because we’ve fallen under the spell of the West, we’ve forgotten our own stories.Pamuk also himself has remarked that the Oedipus and Rostam stories illustrate different aspects of Western and Eastern culture: to the extent our sympathies lie with the murderer in each case, for Oedipus we are supporting individualism and for Rostam authoritarianism and the continuation of the state. Cem's research takes him around the world to discover manuscripts and miniatures based on the story (one of which features in My Name is Red): Cem marries and - as the opening quote suggests - inspired by his well-digging experience enters into the construction business, rather than pursue his literary dreams. He and his wife prove unable to have their own children, and instead their construction company, which they name Sohrab, and which grows spectacularly in the rapidly expanding Istanbul, making Cem a rich and well-known businessman, as well as allowing the novel to touch on themes of Westernisation and individualism in the traditional Turkish society: Sohrab was our son. He was growing up much faster than most children, outperforming his peers, and winning accolades for his business acumen. Although he never forgets the red-haired woman, even recognising her in the actress Silvana Mangano who plays Queen Jocasta, Oedipus's mother and wife, in Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1967 film Edipo Re. During his and his wife's cultural research, they also discovers Wittfogel's Oriental Despotism: A Comparative Study of Total Power, which links Asian "hydraulic societies", needing conscripted labour to provide water and irrigation, to despotism (a sort of "at least he made the water run" equivalent to Mussolini's trains), and thereby, they decide, conditions ripe for patricide or filicide. As the construction boom and expansion of the city reaches even the tiny town where Cem had helped build the well, he finds himself drawn back to Öngören, and inevitably sucked into a father-son confrontation that will have echoes of the two ancient tales. The coincidences of the stories are perhaps a little unrealistic but as one character remarks: Theatre has taught me not to dismiss anything in life as mere coincidence. To say more in the review would spoil the pleasure of the story. The last section of the novel is narrated by the red-haired woman, reflecting on the events of the novel. She laments, both from the historical tales and her own life, that: Whether it was fathers killing their sons, or sons killing fathers, men always emerged victorious, and all that was left for me to do was weep. But as she unravels her own story, we discover a different perspective on what we had seemingly read in the rest of the novel, and realise that she had far more agency that the rather helpless quote above might imply. And she herself sees a model for her looks in drawings and paintings of the poet and artist's model Elizabeth Siddal by the artist and poet, and later her husband, Dante Gabriel Rossetti in the 1850s, such as this one drawn shortly after their marriage: The original Turkish version of the novel, for reasons made clear in the text, had such a picture on the front cover - perhaps my one criticism of the English version is that the publisher has chosen a far more abstract cover. Overall - a wonderful blend of literary commentary, father-son relationships with the added dimension of the mother/wife/lover, and the modernisation of Istanbul.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Resh (The Book Satchel)

    This was a nice read. Would not recommend if you are new to Pamuk. What to expect? - lots of literary symbolisms - frequent comparisons between Greek epic + Firdowsi's story of Rostam and Sohrab + life of protagonist What did not seem right? -Pamuk starts explaining. Almost as if he is scared the reader will not be able to read between the lines -comparison between the protagonist's life and the epics seemed repetitive and lumpy. -less lyrical than usual Pamuk novels For more - http://www.thebooksatche This was a nice read. Would not recommend if you are new to Pamuk. What to expect? - lots of literary symbolisms - frequent comparisons between Greek epic + Firdowsi's story of Rostam and Sohrab + life of protagonist What did not seem right? -Pamuk starts explaining. Almost as if he is scared the reader will not be able to read between the lines -comparison between the protagonist's life and the epics seemed repetitive and lumpy. -less lyrical than usual Pamuk novels For more - http://www.thebooksatchel.com/red-hai...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Yelda Basar Moers

    ​I'm a huge fan of the soulful and brilliant Turkish Nobel Prize winning novelist Orhan Pamuk. So when I heard he had a new release (published in the U.S. last month), I got my hands on it as soon as possible. I loved The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring tale of a teenager who is hired as the apprentice of a master welldigger to find water on a barren plain on the outskirts of Istanbul. During his time on the job, he meets a beautiful red-haired woman. His affair with her transforms him in unimagina ​I'm a huge fan of the soulful and brilliant Turkish Nobel Prize winning novelist Orhan Pamuk. So when I heard he had a new release (published in the U.S. last month), I got my hands on it as soon as possible. I loved The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring tale of a teenager who is hired as the apprentice of a master welldigger to find water on a barren plain on the outskirts of Istanbul. During his time on the job, he meets a beautiful red-haired woman. His affair with her transforms him in unimaginable ways. I loved Pamuk's intimate storytelling, his stunning prose filled with poetic, dreamlike musings and old Persian and Greek literature, which he weaves into his narrative. Orhan Pamuk's books are as high quality as modern literature gets-- fine dining on the bookshelf! This is the fourth book of his that I have read and I'm beginning to see a recurring theme of heartbreak, lost Iove and longing. I wonder if Pamuk had his heart broken in his youth! Some writers have said that if you want to become a novelist-- go out and get your heart broken! Well if this the case for Pamuk, it worked out for him! Heartbreak or no heartbreak, whenever I read a book by him, I always feel like I'm reading a classic, though it is not a classic, as he is still alive! Below is a snapshot of his stunning prose: "The purple peaks toward the Black Sea had assumed a strange blue shade, and the rare clumps of trees among the drab, jaundiced plots in the plains behind the mountains seemed particularly green...it was all beautiful, and a part of me knew that the reason I felt this way was that beautiful red-haired woman I had just seen standing in the doorway of her house."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Blankfein

    Follow my blog Book Nation by Jen https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com... for all reviews and recommendations. I really enjoyed this short but dense book, The Red-Haired Woman written by Turkish Nobel Prize winning author Orhan Pamuk. In the 1980s, a teenage, fatherless boy is an apprentice to Master Mahmut, a well digger. They dig for water in the hot sun, and tell stories to pass the time. They develop a tight relationship and grow to rely on each other as co-workers and as father and son. On Follow my blog Book Nation by Jen https://booknationbyjen.wordpress.com... for all reviews and recommendations. I really enjoyed this short but dense book, The Red-Haired Woman written by Turkish Nobel Prize winning author Orhan Pamuk. In the 1980s, a teenage, fatherless boy is an apprentice to Master Mahmut, a well digger. They dig for water in the hot sun, and tell stories to pass the time. They develop a tight relationship and grow to rely on each other as co-workers and as father and son. One evening the boy observes a beautiful red haired woman twice his age and daydreams about her to get through the difficult days of work. She is an actress in a traveling theater production and he becomes overwhelmed with desire to see her in the play and meet her. Then there is an accident and we don’t know what happens to Mahmut. The boy leaves town and we are not sure who the red-haired woman really is. The characters connections to one another and the mysteries make this novel a fantastic page turner. Through stories told to the boy by Master Mahmut, ideas about fathers and sons are explored with references to Oedipus Rex, where a son kills his father and has children with his mother, and Rostam and Sohrab, where the father kills his son. I had to do some googling to fully understand the references, but I like to learn something when I read and this story was captivating. Love, loss and relationships are touched upon in The Red-Haired Woman, giving the reader a lot to think about, and so well written with a few shockers and surprises. I loved how myths and real life paralleled each other and I highly recommend this book!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime: The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul. As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate? With this vivid image of digging towards the centre of the earth at the hear From BBC Radio 4 - Book at Bedtime: The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul. As the story of the well digging proceeds, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate? With this vivid image of digging towards the centre of the earth at the heart of the story, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate? Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory. Heraclitus said that truth lies at the bottom of a well. The wells of Pamuk's Turkey are something quite sinister - here, guilt and shame lurk in the darkness, forever threatening to come spewing up into the light. The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life. As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, against the backdrop of the ever expanding 21st century Istanbul. Written by Orhan Pamuk Translated by Ekin Oklap Read by Paul Hilton Abridged by Jill Waters and Isobel Creed Producer: Jill Waters A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09ntss7 4* Snow 3* Mon nom est Rouge 3* The Museum of Innocence 2* The Red-Haired Woman TR Silent House TR A Strangeness in My Mind

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mostafa Mostafa

    No wonder i am a Pamuk fan! This book was quite different, style wise and plot, from his previous works! Pamuk illustrates in his book the unsettling relationship between father and son! Growing up fatherless, Cem becomes a well digger’s apprentice who takes the role as his father! The book is divided into three parts; two of which narrated by Cem himself at 16 and 30s and the third by the red haird woman! Cem’s character development can be sensed and is felt in the first two parts; the voice is more No wonder i am a Pamuk fan! This book was quite different, style wise and plot, from his previous works! Pamuk illustrates in his book the unsettling relationship between father and son! Growing up fatherless, Cem becomes a well digger’s apprentice who takes the role as his father! The book is divided into three parts; two of which narrated by Cem himself at 16 and 30s and the third by the red haird woman! Cem’s character development can be sensed and is felt in the first two parts; the voice is more mature! The two parts are tied elegantly together by the red woman herself lending us her voice in the third part! How myths and fables shape your lives and even change their course is pretty interesting! Over the course of the book, Pamuk discusses fatherhood and its role and impact in a son’s life! Istanbul as usual is a character in this book; although acquiring a minor role ( compared to his other works), it develops and grows! The book wraps up in a major dramatic conclusion which, although you can predict, but leaves you in awe! Pamuk had done a great job! Highly recommended!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Julian Worker

    From helping dig a well to creating a valuable property company, this story charts the progress of Cem set to the backdrop of the expansion of Istanbul. Cem and his wife Ayse can't have children and yet they're obsessed with the stories of Oedipus and Rostam and Sohrab, even naming their property company Sohrab. The success of his company is the beginning of the end for Cem as he advertises his company himself and these adverts are seen by a son he never knew he had, the result of a one-night st From helping dig a well to creating a valuable property company, this story charts the progress of Cem set to the backdrop of the expansion of Istanbul. Cem and his wife Ayse can't have children and yet they're obsessed with the stories of Oedipus and Rostam and Sohrab, even naming their property company Sohrab. The success of his company is the beginning of the end for Cem as he advertises his company himself and these adverts are seen by a son he never knew he had, the result of a one-night stand with the Red-Haired Woman of the title during his well apprenticeship. Cem does have a secret, relating to the well and his mentor Master Mahmut, who had a genius for creating wells where there seemed to be no water. Cem doesn't share this secret with anyone but ultimately finds he never had anything to worry about. Cem's secret doesn't hurt him, but the son he never knew about does, in contrast to Oedipus and the legend of Rostam and Sohrab. I feel no sympathy with Cem: he abandons someone when they needed him most - much like his own father did to Cem - and embraces a Western lifestyle, whilst claiming not to be secular. Personally, I think the rise and fall of Cem mirrors the history of Istanbul, a city now embracing the ways of the West, but suffering and diluting its own history and culture as a result.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    For the first third of Re-Haired Woman it barely held my interest. Fortunately Pamuk has such a stellar reputation that I forced myself to keep reading. The story begins on a sleepy mountaintop in a town outside Istanbul, Turkey where a well digger and his two teenage charges tell one another morality stories and occasionally wander down the mountain and into the small town. Ongoren boasts a military outpost some restaurants and coffee houses and a band of actors who are there for a limited run. For the first third of Re-Haired Woman it barely held my interest. Fortunately Pamuk has such a stellar reputation that I forced myself to keep reading. The story begins on a sleepy mountaintop in a town outside Istanbul, Turkey where a well digger and his two teenage charges tell one another morality stories and occasionally wander down the mountain and into the small town. Ongoren boasts a military outpost some restaurants and coffee houses and a band of actors who are there for a limited run. Coincidentally they act out ancient Turkish legends. The red-haired woman and her husband are part of this troupe and she catches the eye of Cem. He becomes obsessed and seeks her out whenever he can. Part of the reason I didn't enjoy the beginning was because the well digger, Master Mahmut, is so heavy handed in his supremacy over the boys. They're expected to obey him and listen to his long winded stories without question. The next part of the book where Cem is an adult and able to see things more clearly and determine his own destiny is much more enjoyable. It goes without saying that this Nobel Laureate writes beautifully and the significance of the legends becomes clearer as you read on. Thank you to the publisher for providing an advance reader's copy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sali-steady-read

    4.75! If it weren't for the last chapter, it would have been a very strong, heavy 5 stars! The last chapter mildly ruined the magic. Yet, this is a unique tail, a staggering art, a mixture of western and eastern mythologies, past and present, myth and reality! Brilliantly portraying the appeal of taking myth so seriously that it is brought about in your life. Disclosing the pleasure of enduring agonizing pain by yourself, and actually enjoying not sharing it with anyone. The author is amazingly aw 4.75! If it weren't for the last chapter, it would have been a very strong, heavy 5 stars! The last chapter mildly ruined the magic. Yet, this is a unique tail, a staggering art, a mixture of western and eastern mythologies, past and present, myth and reality! Brilliantly portraying the appeal of taking myth so seriously that it is brought about in your life. Disclosing the pleasure of enduring agonizing pain by yourself, and actually enjoying not sharing it with anyone. The author is amazingly aware of the human psyche. The reader is automatically/easily manipulated into believing everything the narrator is narrating!! Enjoyed it veryyy muchhh.

  14. 4 out of 5

    pegah

    Dear Mr. Pamuk, sorry to rate this one only 2 stars! I appreciate the philosophy that you brought to your book specially the part which is related to my country (Ferdowsi's Rostam & Sohrab myth) but your story is not believable enough insomuch random meetings happen in it. Dear Mr. Pamuk, sorry to rate this one only 2 stars! I appreciate the philosophy that you brought to your book specially the part which is related to my country (Ferdowsi's Rostam & Sohrab myth) but your story is not believable enough insomuch random meetings happen in it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Belinda

    Utter garbage. A tedious tale tediously told. Repetitive and boring. The author thinks he has something profound to say about father-son relationships. He doesn't. And he also mistakenly believes that his constant recourse to the Oedipus myth will prove that he's erudite. It doesn't. Here are a couple of lines to prove my point: 'I let out each piercing wail, hoping for some release from the anguish' and 'The things you hear in old myths and folktales always end up happening in real life.' Not u Utter garbage. A tedious tale tediously told. Repetitive and boring. The author thinks he has something profound to say about father-son relationships. He doesn't. And he also mistakenly believes that his constant recourse to the Oedipus myth will prove that he's erudite. It doesn't. Here are a couple of lines to prove my point: 'I let out each piercing wail, hoping for some release from the anguish' and 'The things you hear in old myths and folktales always end up happening in real life.' Not usually, actually. Avoid at all costs. I would rather barbecue my own eyeballs than read another of his books.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Overmark

    The plot thickens ... And even the storyline is flawless the building-up is a bit to obvious. I will not spoil your fun, only point to the fun fact that leftwing actors retelling Greek classic plays were frowned upon. If you should pick a role for yourself in this play of Pamuk, I would recommend you found a place in the choir, that would be in safe distance from the inevitable turn of history.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Khanim Garayeva

    The book that has the traces of Author's style as a rule. A brief information about the early days of Istanbul and a very mastered way of merging it with the legend about Rustam and Sohrab was very awesome. The end was really shocking. Controversy to Elif Shafak's "Havva' 3 daughters" this book was not written in the business purposes and makes you enjoy the storyline. Like it very much. The book that has the traces of Author's style as a rule. A brief information about the early days of Istanbul and a very mastered way of merging it with the legend about Rustam and Sohrab was very awesome. The end was really shocking. Controversy to Elif Shafak's "Havva' 3 daughters" this book was not written in the business purposes and makes you enjoy the storyline. Like it very much.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Felek

    3.5 stars!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yuko Shimizu

    My favorite film director is Wong Ka-Wai. I often say if Pamuk or Haruki Murakami were to be made into films, they have to be directed by Wong. Not that their books are similar, but all the emotions, sadness and melancholy of the characters, often depicted in minute but memorable scenes (rather than going on and on about actual emotions)... All three of them do this the best. Now to think about it, Murakami is known for often using a well as symbolism. And This book is also about a well. (My Nam My favorite film director is Wong Ka-Wai. I often say if Pamuk or Haruki Murakami were to be made into films, they have to be directed by Wong. Not that their books are similar, but all the emotions, sadness and melancholy of the characters, often depicted in minute but memorable scenes (rather than going on and on about actual emotions)... All three of them do this the best. Now to think about it, Murakami is known for often using a well as symbolism. And This book is also about a well. (My Name is Red too of course.) Then while I was reading this, I came to a realization that Kafka on the Shore is also a modern retelling of Oedipus myth. Why did it take me so long to realize this? But, anyways, really interesting comparison/companion book. Same myth, completely different stories, equally captivating. I couldn't put it down, and read the whole thing over a weekend. Considering English is my second language (I still read much faster in Japanese), it's a record. So many thoughts and emotions. I'll be thinking about this book for a long time.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Finja

    Beautifully written. Great story, touch of philosophy within the storyline . Loved the Turkish setting and time components.

  21. 4 out of 5

    MihaElla

    A great book! A valuable spending of time reading it. Strongly recommended even for re-reading.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Cihodariu

    This story explored the complicated and difficult relations between fathers and sons, with multiple layers. I like the author's fascination with Western (Oedipus) and Eastern (Rustem) myths regarding colossally tragic stories of patricide or filicide, and how these stories reverberate and foreshadow the events in the book. You can read in the book many things between the lines, from toxic masculinity (the fragility the Red Haired Woman is talking about) to tensions between conservatize and modern This story explored the complicated and difficult relations between fathers and sons, with multiple layers. I like the author's fascination with Western (Oedipus) and Eastern (Rustem) myths regarding colossally tragic stories of patricide or filicide, and how these stories reverberate and foreshadow the events in the book. You can read in the book many things between the lines, from toxic masculinity (the fragility the Red Haired Woman is talking about) to tensions between conservatize and modernizing forces in Turkey, some allusions to state & police brutality and so on. The folk tales taken from Persian myths are very endearing and make me think of the Romanian versions of them I used to read or listen to as I grew up. Yes, they reached even here, probably when they were still popular in Turkey too. I also liked the very vivid descriptions of everything. The landscapes are pulsating, and there never seems to be a dull moment in these descriptions- or something which drags along too much. -------------------------------------------------- Some of my favorite excerpts: “Sometimes I pictured us reading a book together, before at last kissing and making love. According to my father, the greatest happiness in life was to marry the girl you’d spent your youth reading books with in the passionate pursuit of a shared ideal. I’d heard him tell my mother as much while describing someone else’s happiness.” “In those moments, I thought: I am most completely myself when nobody’s watching. I had only just begun to discover this truth. When there is no one to observe us, the other self we keep hidden inside can come out and do as it pleases. But when you have a father near enough to keep an eye on you, that second self remains buried within.” “My father left us!” I said. “Then he wasn’t a father at all,” she said. “Find yourself a new father. We all have many fathers in this country. The fatherland, Allah, the army, the Mafia…No one here should ever be fatherless.” The Red-Haired Woman now seemed to me clever as well as beautiful. And one from the perspective of the red-haired woman herself: “I wasn’t yet thirty-five, and already I’d discovered how proud and fragile men could be, the sense of self that courses through their veins. I knew that fathers and sons were capable of killing each other. Whether it was fathers killing their sons, or sons killing the fathers, men always emerged victorious, and all that was left for me to do was weep.”

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jim Angstadt

    The Red-Haired Woman Orhan Pamuk Oedipus Rex, the story by Sophocles that was first performed about 429 BC (thanks wikipedia) has a central and continuing influence on this novel. The idea of a son killing his father and then marrying his mother has a recurring appearance, with major variations, in Red-Haired Woman. This story is set west of Istanbul, Turkey, sometime after WWII. Master Mahmut is the well-digger. Cem is the well-digger's assistant and central character. The Red-Haired Woman was an a The Red-Haired Woman Orhan Pamuk Oedipus Rex, the story by Sophocles that was first performed about 429 BC (thanks wikipedia) has a central and continuing influence on this novel. The idea of a son killing his father and then marrying his mother has a recurring appearance, with major variations, in Red-Haired Woman. This story is set west of Istanbul, Turkey, sometime after WWII. Master Mahmut is the well-digger. Cem is the well-digger's assistant and central character. The Red-Haired Woman was an actress whose earlier life had more entanglement than expected. She is attracted to Cem for unknown reasons, despite the age difference. Cem and the Red-Haired Woman have a one-night stand. Did Master Mahmut die in the well? Cem goes on the university and advances in his career. His father, a distant father at best, and a "subversive", and a ladies man, is long gone, but still has an influence on Cem. Ayse marries Cem, but they remain childless. Eventually they start their own business and do very well. Many years later, events conspire to bring Cem back to the location where he and Master Mahmut dug their well. (view spoiler)[ Enver is the result of Cem's one-nighter with the Red-Haired Woman. He is young and angry; yet tries to maintain an objective and indifferent attitude. (hide spoiler)] Deceptively, simply told. Some of the themes shown here include East vs. West, male and female stereotypes, accountability for one's actions, and the enduring repetitive nature of inter-personal relationships. This reminded me of another by Pamuk, Istanbul, in the richness of the character depiction.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer

    For an insightful review of this book including: the themes underlying it; its connection to classical literature (including but not restricted to the legends of Oedipus and of Rostam and Sohrab); its links to Pamuk’s existing canon – a canon which deservedly won him the Nobel prize; the way in which Pamuk as ever explores the fissures in Turkish society; a hint as to the twists in the latter part of this book, I can only recommend Paul’s review here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Howeve For an insightful review of this book including: the themes underlying it; its connection to classical literature (including but not restricted to the legends of Oedipus and of Rostam and Sohrab); its links to Pamuk’s existing canon – a canon which deservedly won him the Nobel prize; the way in which Pamuk as ever explores the fissures in Turkish society; a hint as to the twists in the latter part of this book, I can only recommend Paul’s review here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... However I don’t agree with the overall assessment of the book – and my 3* rating is more of a 2.5 rounded up for one of my favourite authors writing (as he often does) about one of my favourite cities (Istanbul). The reason for my hesitation is that, at least in the first 2/3rd or so of the book, Pamuk makes sure he explains every classical allusion or metaphor, every link between the story of the narrator and the stories of legend at such length (not just when they happen, but before they happen so that we can guess what is coming, and them after it has happened just in case we have not been paying attention) that no space is left for the reader’s own interpretation, imagination or research. Now such an approach could work if performed consciously and explicitly and with a narrator who repeatedly breaks out of the narrative and/or breaks through the third wall to address the reader directly; however this book is at least for most of its length written as a very traditional novel with a first person narrator who is the protagonist of the action.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Corman

    For a long time, I would have nothing to do with anyone. I withdrew, distancing myself from the world. The world was beautiful, and I wanted my inner world to be beautiful, too. -Orhan Pamuk, The Red-Haired Woman

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    BABT http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09ntss7 Description: On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul, a master well-digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating without luck metre by metre, the two will develop a filial bond neither has known before--not the poor middle-aged bachelor nor the middle-class boy whose father disappeared after being arrested for politically subversive activities. The pair will com BABT http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09ntss7 Description: On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul, a master well-digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating without luck metre by metre, the two will develop a filial bond neither has known before--not the poor middle-aged bachelor nor the middle-class boy whose father disappeared after being arrested for politically subversive activities. The pair will come to depend on each other, and exchange stories reflecting disparate views of the world. But in the nearby town, where they buy provisions and take their evening break, the boy will find an irresistible diversion. The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring member of a travelling theatre company, catches his eye and seems as fascinated by him as he is by her. The young man's wildest dream will be realized, but, when in his distraction a horrible accident befalls the well-digger, the boy will flee, returning to Istanbul. Only years later will he discover whether he was in fact responsible for his master's death and who the red-headed enchantress was. Recollections of an absent father The countryside beyond Istanbul, 1986. The well-diggers visit a nearby town. Used to listening to the master's stories, Cem is asked to speak A visit to a travelling theatre opens up a new world to the young apprentice. A night with the red-headed woman excites a tired young well-digger Fearing the worst, Cem flees Istanbul and goes home to Gebze Cem is a success, but he is drawn to storytelling, folklore and myth. At his farther's funeral, Cem is approached by a stranger The red-haired woman remembers a night at the theatre thirty years ago as the red-haired woman's son grows, he begins to ask questions about his father. BBC description: The Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk explores the complex layers of father-son relationships through the apparently simple story of a young man apprenticed to a welldigger on the outskirts of Istanbul. With this vivid image of digging towards the centre of the earth at the heart of the story, he brings together eastern and western myths and legends to look at what is really meant by authority and rebellion. Can anyone ever escape their fate? Cem Çelik is a "little gentleman", the son of a leftist Istanbul pharmacist whose politics take precedence over parenthood. During one of his father's lengthy and regular disappearances, 16 year-old Cem gives up his holiday job guarding his uncle's orchard and apprentices himself to a master well-digger, Mahmut. They set about digging a well to provide water for a local businessman's factory. Heraclitus said that truth lies at the bottom of a well. The wells of Pamuk's Turkey are something quite sinister - here, guilt and shame lurk in the darkness, forever threatening to come spewing up into the light. The novel turns on Cem's encounter with the red-haired woman of the title and a subsequent act by the well that stains the rest of his life. As Cem accepts the warm but irascible Mahmut as a surrogate father, and Mahmut slowly begins to regard Cem with a fatherly affection, the storytelling begins. First Cem listens intently to Mahmut's tales, then is himself invited to speak. Myth and folklore pervade the novel, and throw the events of Cem's life into sharp focus, against the backdrop of the ever expanding 21st century Istanbul. So, an Oedipus re-telling in the modern age. Meh. 2* The Red-Haired Woman 5* My Name is Red 4* Snow 2* The White Castle

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mobyskine

    “If the boy wants to work hard and make his own money, don’t knock the wind out of his sails." A life of Cem through his teenage years to adulthood. A story of epic, myth and fantasy of books, a well-digger apprentice, an affair and obsession. A bit psychological, a haunted past and survival. "According to my father, the greatest happiness in life was to marry the girl you’d spent your youth reading books with in the passionate pursuit of a shared ideal." Love Pamuk's style of writing cause his plo “If the boy wants to work hard and make his own money, don’t knock the wind out of his sails." A life of Cem through his teenage years to adulthood. A story of epic, myth and fantasy of books, a well-digger apprentice, an affair and obsession. A bit psychological, a haunted past and survival. "According to my father, the greatest happiness in life was to marry the girl you’d spent your youth reading books with in the passionate pursuit of a shared ideal." Love Pamuk's style of writing cause his plot will always tell me a descriptive views of the character's life be it an important character or not. The slice of life plot, the enthralling collection of stories Cem knows by heart-- Oedipus, Rostam and Sohrab, and other epic tales. Thrilling, surprising and wonder at every turn. A retribution and revenge, perhaps an epic mythology turns to reality. I love the smoothness of the plot although the descriptiveness sometimes making me worn out a little. The actuality of each scenes were emotionally presented and vivid. As much as I got to know each of the character I realised on how I actually dislike the red-haired woman-- something about her personality did not fascinates me as much as Cem did. It speaks centuries of Istanbul as a whole-- its development, social and political. Very nostalgic. Apart from the historical feeling that I really love, it interests me a lot on how the narrative keeps wandering around with father-son relationship as its subject. It shows some sight of one's humanity, unexpected feelings and sincere thought. A great read nevertheless.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Victor

    In case you were wondering what this book is about, I'll tell you: it's about the story of Oedip and the story of Rostan and Shorab. I discovered that by reading the careful placed clues around the novel, amounting to 200, about one for each page. Besides that it's not much: your Turkish variety of a soap opera that wants to take itself serious by employing a fairy tale tone of sorts that falls flat and a recount of the explosive growth of a city (I'll let you take a wild guess) that comes close In case you were wondering what this book is about, I'll tell you: it's about the story of Oedip and the story of Rostan and Shorab. I discovered that by reading the careful placed clues around the novel, amounting to 200, about one for each page. Besides that it's not much: your Turkish variety of a soap opera that wants to take itself serious by employing a fairy tale tone of sorts that falls flat and a recount of the explosive growth of a city (I'll let you take a wild guess) that comes close to being fetishized. If you'd strip away the affectation you'd be left with nothing but a description of a worrisome society caught in a battle between Islamic and Occidental values and losing it in favor of Islam and maybe behind this last bastion hides the true meaning of the story. There are plenty clues to support this interpretation and if you consider the Red Haired Woman as the embodiment of Turkey the painting gains shape.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mindy

    I just made my challenge with this book. Yay! I was in the mood for something different than I usually read when I picked this one up. I was attracted by the cover and then the blurb sealed the deal. This book might mean more to father's and sons but no matter it will make you think. I really enjoyed being transported to Istanbul and a culture other than my own. A wonderful author that I will look to read more of in the future. Happy New Year! I just made my challenge with this book. Yay! I was in the mood for something different than I usually read when I picked this one up. I was attracted by the cover and then the blurb sealed the deal. This book might mean more to father's and sons but no matter it will make you think. I really enjoyed being transported to Istanbul and a culture other than my own. A wonderful author that I will look to read more of in the future. Happy New Year!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kyriakos Sorokkou

    Δείτε την κριτική στα Ελληνικά στις βιβλιοαλχημείες I read my first Pamuk in the spring of 2015. The book was My Name Is Red. It was one of the first books I read after I decided to read more diversely, and internationally. I bought it because I hadn't read a book from Turkey before, and the plot was intriguing. The narrator of the first chapter is a corpse. In one of the following chapters the colour Red itself is the narrator. Many said that this is an Islamic version of Umberto Eco's The Name of Δείτε την κριτική στα Ελληνικά στις βιβλιοαλχημείες I read my first Pamuk in the spring of 2015. The book was My Name Is Red. It was one of the first books I read after I decided to read more diversely, and internationally. I bought it because I hadn't read a book from Turkey before, and the plot was intriguing. The narrator of the first chapter is a corpse. In one of the following chapters the colour Red itself is the narrator. Many said that this is an Islamic version of Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose. Well, not exactly; but both books have some connections with each other. There's the colour red in their title, there's a blind wise man in a labyrinthine library, there's also a murder investigation, and both books discuss tradition over progress. After finishing it I realised that Pamuk will be the author from whom I'll buy whatever he writes. The blurb on the back cover says that "Pamuk is a exceptional novelist, who keeps writing his best novels after his Nobel Prize win." Indeed he is one of the few authors that won a prestigious prize that I enjoy. His books are not for the elite, the academics and their elitist thralls. Everyone can read them, both those who enjoy Paulo Coelho and those who enjoy Machado de Assis Of course as always I'm prattling about anything else besides this book. Let me return back to this book. Since my first Pamuk in 2015, I read at least on book by him each year, six in total. This book came into fruition after an incident that happened to Pamuk. A well-digger and his teenage apprentice. He saw in them a father son relation. So he decided to write a story based on this incident and with themes on patricide and infanticide. They both serve as themes in two great classic works of Western and Eastern civilisation: Oedipus Rex and Shahnameh: The Persian Book of Kings. And of course a mysterious red-haired woman that acts as the (missing) link in all of this. As with his previous books we have in this book once more, a dialogue between East and West, religion and secularism, tradition and change. Not my best Pamuk but I can't be 100% objective with an author I love to read from, and even watch and enjoy his interviews, that always have this storytelling feel. Now I have to think what will be my next and 7th Pamuk.

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