My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (Laura)

My Name is RedOrhan Pamuk
413 pages

I really enjoy reading prize-winning authors. I have a long-term goal to read all Booker, Pulitzer, Orange and Nobel winners. But with my latest read I learned that just because an author won a prize, and just because umpteen people have raved about said author, doesn’t mean I will enjoy their work.

Orhan Pamuk won the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature. My Name is Red is set in the late 16th century during the Ottoman Empire. The central figures are artists, miniaturist painters working for Sultan Murat III, who had several books produced during his reign, all including the work of prominent Ottoman miniaturists.

The book is a mystery, beginning with the murder of a miniaturist. The story is told from numerous points of view. All of this initially intrigued me, but I didn’t make it past page 85. The intricacies of miniaturist painting, the parables and cultural references, the unbearably slow development of the mystery … I found myself getting lost, re-reading, and repeatedly falling asleep in my chair. What have I missed? Was I crazy to throw My Name is Red at the wall?

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© Read the NobelsMaira Gall