Book 967 Orhan Pamuk – Snow

Over here in Malta Pamuk is big, his novels sell constantly and he props up in conversations quite a bit. Mainly due to his views  and allegations. But I’ve never really bothered to read i his books. I knew they would be constantly in print so now finally having a chance to read him I can see why he’s liked.

Ka is an exiled poet and is returning to his hometown of Kars in order to investigate a group of women who have committed suicide. However later on in the book we find out that here’s here to rekindle a relationship with one of his ex lovers. As the title suggest Kars is a victim of heavy snowfalls.

This whole plot device is simply a maguffin to what is a complex political thriller which tackles the westernization of Turkey and various movements to restore the Muslim culture. Ka at first sides wants Turkey to be westernized but as the novel proceeds he becomes torn between the two ideals.

Eventually Ka decision’s effect his destiny – and others greatly. Which leads to an unforgetable climax.

There are many great things about Snow. Ka himself is a complex character who’s relationships with other protagonists shape his future. The way snow is depicted to be as menacing as the city of Kars.The amount of memorable scenes are numerous. Even the narrative technique is original (I cannot give this away though).

Unfortunately I was not able to fully appreciate the novel. There are times when the translation was stodgy, which meant the flow of Snow was at turtle’s pace. There are times when things are lost in translation and the novel suffers from this. This aside and you’ve got the brainiest espionage/social commentary written in the 00’s (well let’s include Bolano’s 2666 as well.)