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The Museum of Innocence Hardcover – Deckle Edge, October 20, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Filled with years of tedium and few moments of action; the story slowly winds its way through Kemal's obsession with the beautiful Fusun. Those years pass as if the rest of his life has absolutely no meaning.
This is a narrative told in the first person by Kemal that presents word pictures of the characters, the neighborhoods and Istanbul itself. The tone captured the times and events and, in particular, the feelings of Kemal.
Only on looking back at the entire book, when the tedium is over, could I appreciate the telling of the lives of Fusun and Kemal, and of the others who were involved with them. Most lives are not 'exciting' to us when described and yet they are as exciting to those living them as ours are to us.
I kept turning the pages and imagining the 'museum' and how the story would eventually end. I'm not always able to predict the ending of a book, but this time I did - and it didn't affect the story. The best way to describe my feelings is that the whole was greater than the sum if its parts.
Museum of Innocence is a love story that alludes to much more. It is said that this is Pamuk's first novel about love (I disagree). The story is centered on Kemal's experience of encountering his love Fusun, as an almost married man, losing her and trying to win her back. Almost the entire story is told from his perspective because he represents multiple oppressive forces that existed in Turkish society in the 70s and 80s, despite his own resentment of these forces. The story is divided into short chapters with titles that convey metaphysical inquiries about love and happiness in the most colloquial and at times cliché language. The writing itself is rather poetic but contains a greater dose of realism than Snow. The storyline is punctuated with breathtaking imageries. Kemal's obsession with Fusun, manifested through his fetish of collecting the objects with associations with Fusun, is absurd by nature but made real and even what somewhat sensible by Pamuk.Read more ›
In The Museum of Innocence, Mr. Pamuk has yet again chosen to undertake a somewhat tendentious cultural issue: that of virginity's cherished sanctity among Turkish women living in an Istanbul metamorphosing with the changing trends. Kemal Basmac', the Byronic hero of this ornately beautiful and bittersweet piece, tells us that "virginity was still regarded as a treasure that young girls should protect until the day they married. Following the drive to Westernize and modernize, and (even more significantly) the haste to urbanize, it became common practice for girls to defer marriage until they were older, and the practical value of this treasure began to decline in certain parts of Istanbul.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book about an obsession that Kemal, a very wealthy Turkish industrialist develops for Fusun, a much younger, and extraordinarily beautiful, shopgirl. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Susana Conde
Repetitive and boring, like most of Pamuk's books. I gave up half-way through, I just couldn't stand the main character anymore. He deserved to be dumped by his lover.Published 23 days ago by D. A. Post
I found this well-written and very evocative of "old" Istanbul. However, I have one major problem with the novel, and this really colored my admiration of the story... Read morePublished 26 days ago by A reader from California
This is my first book of Orhan Pamuk, really loved it & have ever intention to buy his other books.Published 1 month ago by honey shekarchi
If you like Orhan Pamuk you will love this book! If you have never read him, hold on, be persistent and you will be rewarded. The characters become like friends. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael W. Gallagher
Quite incredible if you have he opportunity to visit Istanbul and he Museum of Innoncence. Beautifully written portrait of a (not so) "westernized" man in a Muslim land.Published 2 months ago by Ricardo Morais Rodrigues da Rocha e Sousa