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review SPOILER ALERT! 2013-09-07 10:03
A compelling book
The Museum of Innocence - Orhan Pamuk,Maureen Freely

I bought this book after finishing Istanbul Memories of a City as I wanted to continue to stay in Istanbul and learn more about the city. I had just visited Istanbul in February this year and was so mesmerized by it that I wanted to learn more, continue to dig my mind into it. While Istanbul Memories of a City reads more like a biography the museum of innocence is a fiction narrated by Kemal, over a 30 years life span. This book had me hooked in a strange way, I wanted to give up on reading it, as I had the feeling that nothing was happening, page after page it sounded too predictable and it kind of drove me insane that nothing ever happened between the two protagonists, Kemal and Füsün for so long, in a way I found Kemal's obsession with Füsün similar to the one of the Princesse de Clèves by Madame de Lafayette  that I had to study in French literature.  Somehow each time I told myself I can't take this any more,  how can Kemal be so passive, accept to give up on his free will, become so dominated but is he really? Orhan Pamuk manages to intrigue the reader and creates a kind of similar obsession that Kemal is experiencing, somehow it is fantastic writing, it is a courting that goes on for years, in a society where everything goes really fast, Ohran Pamuk slowed everything down, pacing the story to the rhythmic beat of a heart, creating expectations and slugging the whole story down again and again. I still can't say if I loved or hated this book, it will not leave you blasé, it will unsettle you,  create discomfort and will remain as a very strong memory, something which rarely happens with a book.

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review 2013-06-13 22:35
The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra by Pedro Mairal
The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra - Pedro Mairal

This is a great story - a mute man spends most of his life creating this strange work of art. He paints miles and miles of canvasses and is totally uninterested in typical fame and fortune. What drove him to do this? What will happen to the work once he's died? His two sons seem to have lived their own lives in their father's shadow and are certainly dwarfed by his artistic achievement. So how will they deal with his legacy? During their search for the missing roll of canvas, they find there are some aspects of their family's history that may have been left better untouched. 


Mairal's book is basically an art thriller mystery and a lot of fun to read -- kept me fascinated throughout. I'd like to read more of his books when they're available in English.

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