Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I just remembered what I wanted to say - review of Orhan Pamuk's My name is Red

While my labours are not entirely fruitless I managed to get around to finishing this book, despite its label, Nobel Prize Winner, you could have lied to me! Okay, you want my honest opinion? This book, sucks, not entirely but somewhat about half the book is bad while the other half is not that bad. Probably, the cause is the LOST in Translation part, it was tedious and long with winding stories that none other reminded me of the translation of the One Thousand and One Nights, stories within stories, the problem was...it did not fascinate me. It had a tendency to repeat itself without any magic accompanying it. Answer me this, why is it that Pramoedya Ananta Toer is a Nobel Prize laureate but this guy wins the whole thing? Let me describe and ruin it for you, the image that was depicted of women for example, in the case of Shekure is too...fantastic. Although the erotica was good but I could say better of Haruki Murakami's works (more after this I'm going to review one of them as well). I disliked Shekure, for every reason in the book that Mary Daly and Shulamith Firestone could think of. For one thing, she's a dreamer, okay that doesn't sound so bad, no, she's a dreamer who wants to be gilded like a princess because of her looks. That is a character I find repulsive. If Pamuk could crack a pretty woman's head and show me what's in it, none of them bear any of the sensitivities that Pamuk displays, they are imaginary depictions of what women are. This is one of the more disconcerting things that I find about the Nobel Prize, they portray what the masses think and what it ought to be. The only people I like amongst that list is Pearl S. Buck, Wole Soyinka and Toni Morisson. The year they decided to nominate Orhan Pamuk was a bad year I think! Sure, at least he tries to connect the West and the East, but the writing...is fit for I don't know, a book called Tokaido that I read a few years back. It wasn't engaging, it didn't rack my soul like Ben Okri, it didn't leave me dazzled like Naguib Mahfouz and it didn't make me laugh like V.S. Naipaul. The characters were shallow, I cannot see inside them, why is that? They show me themselves but not inside their hearts, is that what it's supposed to be, another style of writing? I suppose the only person who could write whodunit novels is and always will be Agatha Christie, any takers on that one? I disliked Black, the only character I found engaging was oddly enough Shekure's dead father, Enishte Effendi. Spare me the book, just chuck it in the bin.

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