I wanted to read this book because it was a NY Times Best Book of the Year and I've enjoyed several on the list. After all, who could resist a book that Margaret Atwood described as "Not only an engrossing feat of tale-spinning but essential reading for our times.?" Well, apparently Jackie could because she put it down after reading 100 pages.
Briefly, this is a story of a Turkish poet in exile who returns to Turkey and goes to a back-water town near the Iranian border to write about Islamic girls who are committing suicide but also because he might be able to hit on a beautiful woman he briefly met in college who is now divorced. Sounds like a page turner.
Well, the poet is a shallow, self-center child of a man at 47. What an idiot. This is the kind of book Becky talks about where the dialogue makes you want to curl up on the couch and overdose on something (booze, pills, "Friends" reruns). After 250 pages of this inane dialogue I thought of quiting the book but decided the story might come together in a brilliant conclusion. After all, John Updike said "...A major work...with suspense at every dimpled vortex (whatever the heck that means)...Pamuk [is Turkey's] most likely candidate for the Nobel Prize." John must have gotten a different edition than the one I read. I now feel like the little boy on Christmas morning who sees a giant pile of horse manure in the yard and starts digging to the bottom because he's sure there's a pony in there somewhere. Take it from me, after 426 pages, there is no pony.