I am a Corpse
This is one of my favorite books and I had to write about it. My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk.
It’s actually a detective book that starts with the chapter ”I am a Corpse”. So we see what happens seconds after the murder we will be investigating. The description of what the victim ‘feels’ is wonderfully portrayed. Then we can go and experience life in the 1590s Istanbul looking for our murderer. If you think the chapters ”I will be called a Murderer” help, well think again. All the chapters are made up of different characters’ point of view over the events. I also found that very interesting, as a writing technique.
Orhan Pamuk does a magnificent job in ensuring that you begin to suspect many characters, while never being able to point out the one who did it. I believe that after reading this you can see why he got the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The book shows the life of miniaturists that work for the Ottoman Sultan. Along with all the drama and life struggles one can find there.
I am Death
It has love, forbidden love, murder, and life, lost and found as the investigation goes further.
I remember I was pretty sure who did it a few times, only to change my opinion two pages further into the book as the characters show guilt and motive.
Besides the thrill of the chase, I found the whole feeling that you get walking through Istanbul, with the characters and experiencing the life of the metropolis, most exhilarating. Mainly I found myself falling in love with the world of the Orient and with the mythology presented. I am pretty sure that you will too.
At times I felt like I had closed my eyes and woken up in a typical Ottoman life that allowed me to understand what that world was about. I understood how Islam forged it’s way into the mundane. Also I learned how the Turkish folklore made it’s way from the Sultan’s private chambers to the merchant on the streets. From the heart of the empire to the outskirts of the far-away regions.
We Two Dervishes
The book presents a dose of real Turkish experience through the life and death of ordinary people. I had the chance the read about many normal experiences of various characters and learn a bit about the Turkish way of seeing things. You get the chance to go in the collective mind of Turks and how they would interact with the events around them.
All in all, I believe it is an unforgettable book that paves the way into the sea of Turkish literature. Most importantly it provides a peak into the writings of Orhan Pamuk and his marvelous way of exposing real life. You’ll get the feeling you need to immerse yourself again into this world like I did.
I am sure you will enjoy this one.