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I prefer Prishtina in the snow. For once, neither dusty nor muddy, even the stink of the nearby power stations seems somehow to have been smothered. Snow makes all cities look a little alike, from the most beautiful to the most ugly. Or perhaps I'm trying much too hard to be positive about Prishtina.

I just finished reading Orhan Pamuk's "Snow". Another apparently ugly city that took on a new aspect when all white. It was a huge struggle, dreadfully dull. I forced myself to read to the end, mainly so I could say with conviction that it was awful. So slow-moving, such uninteresting characters. It was all completely unconvincing. Maybe Pamuk is as introverted as almost all his characters, analysing every thought, every action in endless detail. But most people are not so utterly tiresome. How did Ka manage to talk to so many people, sit in so many tea shops, walk so many streets, have so many clandestine meetings, get arrested and tortured, make passionate love so many times in such a short period, and still manage to fill several notebooks with every detail of everything he did? And why would he want to record every little boring detail?

My expectations of Pamuk were high, and I was dreadfully disappointed. Are any of his other books any better?

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My Name Is Red is a *lot* better.
Snow is kind of a take on Italo Calvino, IMO...

I confess, I find "Snow" completely lacking the imagination or flair of Calvino. I may give Pamuk another go at some point, but at the moment I feel I've been the victim of an international con to persuade me that he was an author worth reading.

I agree. I read Snow and The White Castle because I absolutely loved My Name Is Red and was dreadfully disappointed in both. Still, I picked up a copy of his memoirs, Istanbul: Memories of a City, and I've quite enjoyed what I've read so far. I don't think this is coincidental since he mentions that the parts of My Name Is Red dealing with Şeküre and her sons (one of which is even named "Orhan") were semi-autobiographical. That gives me hope that I might find The Black Book and Mr. Cevdet and His Sons more rewarding.

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