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The Gaze Paperback – July 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd; First Edition edition (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714531219
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714531212
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,119,427 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Originally published in Turkey in 1999 to wide acclaim, this screwball love story is Shafak's third novel. (Her fifth, The Saint of Incipient Insanities, was published here in 2004.) Loosely organized around a neurotic obese woman and a feisty dwarf, it teems with parallel plots and digressions, freely leaping from modern apartment living in Istanbul to a 19th-century Turkish freak show and fur hunts in 17th-century Siberia. Shafak's prose (ably translated by Freely) follows a humorous, idiosyncratic course, seizing on arresting visual details, such as "a house the color of salted green almonds" and dispensing oddly charming aphorisms: "Love is a corset." (She adds: "In order to understand the value of this you have to be exceedingly fat.") At one moment, a faceless newborn's features are etched on by an anxious aunt; at another, a shipwrecked Russian sailor surprises a shaman in flagrante delicto with an oversized sable. The early parts of the novel can feel maddeningly unfocused for a book about the power of the stare. Later pages home in on an unexpected emotional trauma, and the atmosphere of fantastical levity clears to reveal an urgent, human pain. Shafak probes the many ironies of appearance and perception with entertaining and affecting results. (Oct.)
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Review

Beautifully evoked The Times Original and compelling TLS Plays with ideas of beauty and ugliness like they're Rubik's cubes -- Helen Oyeyemi Entertaining and affecting Publishers' Weekly Elif Shafak is the best author to come out of Turkey in the last decade -- Orhan Pamuk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Elif Shafak is Turkey's most-read woman writer and an award-winning novelist. She writes in both English and Turkish, and has published 13 books, nine of which are novels, including: The Bastard of Istanbul, The Forty Rules of Love, Honour and her nonfiction memoir Black Milk. Her books have been translated into more than 40 languages. She has more than one and a half million followers on Twitter: @elif_safak www.elifshafak.com
Shafak blends Western and Eastern traditions of storytelling, bringing out the voices of women, minorities, subcultures, immigrants and global souls. Defying cliches and transcending boundaries her works draws on different cultures and cities, and reflects a strong interest in history, philosophy, culture, mysticism, Sufism and gender equality. Her books have been translated into more than forty languages.
Shafak is also a political scientist and has taught at various universities in the USA, UK and Turkey. She has written for several international daily & weekly publications, including The Guardian, The New York Times, The Independent and The World Post/Huffington Post.
She was born in Strasbourg, France, in 1971. She is married with two kids and divides her time between London and Istanbul.

Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Retigi on July 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
The English translation of this book is incredibly bad. Here is a very simple example:
In the original text it says:
... with 50 cannon salute ... (in Turkish: 50 pare top atisiyla)

And here is the translated version:
... with 50 tosses of the ball ....
(in Turkish "cannon" and "ball" are homophonic words. Unfortunately, not being aware of this fact, the translator made up a new sentence which does not even convey the meaning of the preceding sentences.)

The translated text contains lots of such errors. If you had read this wonderful book of Elif Safak, and had not liked it, be sure that it is just because of these awkward translation errors.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Guillermo Chantada on October 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book, probably the best one I have read of Elif Shafak. This is a very well written story with parallel stories in different time that interdigitate to make the whole message stronger. It deals with how other people sees us and the effects that seeing, being seen and not seen and not being seen have in our lives. Secrets that we all have and how they impact on our wish to be seen and be seen are also wonderfully depicted in this novel. If you wish to expore this excellent contemporary Turkish novelist, The Gaze is a good start.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Barkcloth Hawaii on March 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was good, I got into reading something else though so haven't finished yet. I read a lot of books.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leland on June 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have attempted to read two of Elif Shafak's books. And believe me, I really tried. I put them both down without finishing. She seems to be obscure of the sake obscurity itself. Compare Shafak to to the the female French writer, Francois Sagan. Sagan is clear and direct AND profound. Or look at the great Columbian writer, Marquez. Very clear and clean, but profound. I'm sorry, but Shafak is not in the same league. Pass. Find a better writer.
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1 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pauline Aksungur on January 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is probably the worst book that I ever had the misfortune of buying. After attempting to read it, I ended up throwing it in the garbage. The author seems to be telling several uncontacted stories at the same time. It is not until far into the book that she finally lets you know that the lover of the fat woman is a dwarf. Until then we only know this because we read the back of the book. The worst of all is the comparison of her writing to Orhan Pamuk's. That is a grave insult to him.
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