My Name is Red

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Orhan Pamuk holds our hand in the one, and a candle in the other, when he takes you through the dark streets of Istanbul. You walk breathlessly, to be sure you don't disturb the scene while you're touring so casually.

He takes great pleasure in narrating the setting to you. If you close your eyes, you can still picture the entire scene in your mind, and that is exactly how his miniaturists are. Day in, day out, they draw. They make copies of the art created by the masters, hiding their signatures within the art itself. But when a secret project is commissioned, they find themselves at the end of the ropes.

One rare occasion where I have the hard copy of a book.
My Name is Red starts with the murdered recalling his murder. The story takes place in the Istanbul of 1500s where the artists are seeing a clash of ideas, where paintings which aren't involved in a book scare them without bounds. The new secret project is one such attempt at revolutionizing the styles of art itself.

The book tells the story through several voices. It's interesting how they make themselves heard. Somewhere it does get confusing when the chapters switch, but you catch on quickly. But the real gold is in the way the voices have been used. They are the bridges between events. They carry you over to several places in the story, advancing it with such expertise that you don't realize you've come so far.

The genius behind the book, Pamuk, binds you to the book with each progressing chapter. You might not get anywhere story-wise, and yet you'll learn so much about the story itself. It's kind of brilliant how you'd read fifty pages and won't run out of breath.

And then there is a beautiful love story within the pages of the book. The book, which is an art in itself, talks about the legends from the past and discusses them so much that you recognize their repeated appearance throughout the book. Through this, the love story advances and puts you on the edge of the seat again. As if a murder mystery wasn't enough, you find two lovers wedded and yet so distant from each other.

I've been meaning to read this book since ages. The concept of hearing from a corpse the story of his death and from a coin the account of how many deaths it has caused had me hooked to this title. And finally reading it gave me the satisfaction that was due. For the first time, I've given way to this kind of reviewing. I usually do this on my Goodreads profile, but this book needed a description about the book, not about what it made me feel. That is a thought so complex, I can't put it down to words.

Please stay on to read more such experiences about the books I've read here. And let me know if there's something I can read and talk about.