My Name Is Red

My Name Is Red

Book - 2001
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From one of the most important and acclaimed writers at work today, a thrilling new novel--part murder mystery, part love story--set amid the perils of religious repression in sixteenth-century Istanbul.

When the Sultan commissions a great book to celebrate his royal self and his extensive dominion, he directs Enishte Effendi to assemble a cadre of the most acclaimed artists in the land. Their task: to illuminate the work in the European style. But because figurative art can be deemed an affront to Islam, this commission is a dangerous proposition indeed, and no one in the elite circle can know the full scope or nature of the project.
Panic erupts when one of the chosen miniaturists disappears, and the Sultan demands answers within three days. The only clue to the mystery--or crime?--lies in the half-finished illuminations themselves. Has an avenging angel discovered the blasphemous work? Or is a jealous contender for the hand of Enishte's ravishing daughter, the incomparable Shekure, somehow to blame?

Orhan Pamuk's My Name Is Red is at once a fantasy and a philosophical puzzle, a kaleidoscopic journey to the intersection of art, religion, love, sex, and power.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2001.
ISBN: 9780375406959
0375406956
9780307593924
9781841593319
Branch Call Number: PAM
Characteristics: xv, 417 pages :,map ;,24 cm

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DominiqueRossier
Dec 24, 2018

If you start this book, don't let the first 20 or so pages give you the impression it is not worth persevering. It is true that getting in the story is not smooth and easy, but once you're there, it's fabulous. Besides a whodunnit and a love story, you discover a cultural, artistic, philosophical and theological world that is fascinating. True, the style is often a little heavy. However, it fits the topic: Ottoman (not Turkish) was self-consciously (personal guess) constructed as a complex and refined language (an educated person, someone who'd be familiar with the Ottoman court would not speak like a peasant). So it's fitting to have most of the characters "speak" in this sometimes-hard-to-follow style.

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Starlequin
May 19, 2015

I don't put a lot of stock in Prize winning, bestseller lists and the like. I read the books which sound interesting and intriguing to me. For about fifteen years or so I have passed My Name is Red on bookshelves, thinking to myself, "I should read that. It sounds interesting." Then I worried whether the book was all it was cracked up to be or not. Well...It is. Written in the tone of The Arabian Nights or a Medieval epic, My Name is Red is sensitively written, with delicate sentence structure, and memorable perspectives. I HIGHLY recommend it.

RenGrrl May 02, 2011

Very interesting read! An insiders look at at life in the Turkish capital and the politics of art.

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notTom Dec 16, 2010

Nobel Prize-winning Pamuk sets this murder mystery in Istanbul during the height of the Ottoman Empire. A sultan commissions a group of artists to create an illustrated book based on his life. When the body of the lead artist appears at the bottom of a well, the clues to his demise must be found within the paintings themselves. Melded into the “whodunit” nature of this novel is an examination of 16th-century Turkish mores and customs, as well as a study of the role figurative art plays in the Islamic religion.

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ObviousPat
Apr 07, 2008

Beauty is the eye discovering in our world what the mind already knows.

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