Orhan Pamuk’s recent novel, Snow, will cradle you along on a snowy journey of unbearable annoyance. In fact, reading the book should put most people to sleep faster than Lunesta.
The story takes place in modern time. A Turkish poet living in Frankfurt travels back to his home village of Kars with the intention of (i) writing poems, (ii) finding god, (iii) solving the mystery of why the veiled girls are all committing suicide and (iv) getting laid. It snows while he’s in Kars. He drinks Raiki in tea houses. He writes poems. He dies.
I’m sure some readers might be intrigued reading a novel about political/religious/social conflict and clashes between the secularist and fundamentalist. Some people need the particular stimulus offered by this type of material. Then again, some people don’t.
The book has a pretty gold seal on the cover announcing it as a New York Times Book Review Best Book of The Year. I’m now convinced that graft and corruption is as prevalent in publishing as it is in American politics. I’m also pretty sure the only reason this lump made it onto the list is because of the timely Moslem extremist characters and subject matter.
I gave it my best shot. I read almost three quarters of the book before realizing it wasn’t going anywhere. In spite of my curse of having to finish what I start, I retired the book to the shelf unfinished. I can no longer punish myself by reading awful books to the end, watching banal movies until the credits roll and attending tortuous plays until the final curtain. I know when to jump and I’m not going to waste quality time with bad writing when there are so many good authors out there.
This is truly an abusive book.