Tag Archives: Orhan Pamuk

Unfinished Books; Why Should I Feel Guilty As Reader

I love reading books and I like reading them in parallel. At any time, I may have 10 of them going on. Depending on my mood I may pick up one of them during my night-time reading. Some of them will capture my attention and I end up reading without diverting to another book. But there are many of them that I have read, left, come back, left again multiple times before I finished reading it. The nature of story and my mood do not coincide always.

What happens when I leave the book midway and unable to return to it for a long time or forever. It is different when I read a small part of the book and do not like it to continue. But in many cases I like the book, continue to read it almost till midway and then lose interest. Currently there are so many of these books that are unfinished. “Sons and Lovers” by D. H. Lawrence, “Museum of Innocence” by Orhan Pamuk, “Social Intelligence” by Daniel Goleman, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, by George Orwell, “Madame Bovary”, by Gustave Flaubert are some of these books that I remember now. There have been many more.

Sometimes even the authors that you like may not capture your attention for some of their books. I love reading P. G. Wodehouse. But there are some books of Wodehouse that I have started and just could not finish them.

I wonder whether I should feel guilty about not finishing these books. Did I not show enough patience to finish the book? How do I really know if the book is good or not by reading only half of it? I can’t be feeling guilty if the story or writing did not keep me engaged. It may be a great book and liked by many others but if I have to struggle to finish it then it is probably not meant to be for me. I may return back to these books someday but till then there are more than enough books and writers to explore and keep me engaged.

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“My Name Is Red”, By Orhan Pamuk

A completely new author and very distinctive style of writing. I think I picked up this book since I read somewhere that it was one of the greatest books of last century. I think from the point of literature, it truly is a remarkable book. “My name is Red” is also immensely readable for the most parts but in the end I rushed through the detailed descriptions and long winding climax. The last part of the book is very intelligently thought by the author Orhan Pamuk.

The book is a story of miniaturists in 16th century Istanbul one of whom is murdered in the beginning of the story. The story goes on for nine days where one more murder takes place and then many characters are trying to find the murderer. The investigation of murder is a study in the history of miniature paintings throughout the history since other miniaturists are trying to find the signature style of the murderer through many paintings. The story is also a rich source of information about lifestyle, society, politics and family life of that time. You are transported to 1591 in Istanbul. There are also some interesting references of Mughal King Akbar in the story.

Most important part of the book is the narrative style. The story is narrated from point of view of different characters in different point of time. The story does not go back and forth in time but effortlessly move with the narration of each character. Sometimes, the author have used very different type of narrators like a dead man, color red, dog and coin. It was amazing to read the story from perspective of color red and coin. Author has also tried to describe the experience of dead men and what happens after death to soul and body.

The murderer narrates his part of story with two faces, sometimes as murderer and sometimes disguised as fellow miniaturist and readers are provoked to figure out who amongst them is the murderer. Overall, a great book though it could have been shorter in length.

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Filed under Fiction, Fictional-History, Thriller