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K.N.R.

  • 4
  • reviews
  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 7
  • ratings
  • Snow

  • By: Orhan Pamuk
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 18 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 373
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 202
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 203

Following years of lonely political exile in Western Europe, Ka, a middle-aged poet, returns to Istanbul to attend his mother's funeral. Only partly recognizing this place of his cultured, middle-class youth, he is even more disoriented by news of strange events in the wider country: a wave of suicides among girls forbidden to wear their head scarves at school.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • All the good & bad that is Pamuk

  • By Elizabeth on 08-13-07

The Politics of Precipitation

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-15-17

[rating = A+]
One of my: Best Books of the Year (for 2016)
I have had this novel on my shelf for some time. I actually got around to reading it as an audio book which actually made it more enjoyable. Orhan Pamuk is an incredible writer. He mixes contemporary issues and the art of the tale to create a brilliant work of art. Written as if Orhan is writing a travel-journey for an old friend, Snow takes place in Kars Turkey. The protagonist Ka, a poet of some repute, has came to write about the "Suicide girls", and this is where the political and religious angles come in. The whole story is built around the problem of the Islamists and how they are perceived in their own country and in the West (whose own image is rather condescending and mean). Throughout the novel, Orhan, the mysterious speaker, slowly becomes more present in the narration. I am still not sure if I like this intrusion, or if I think it masterfully constrained. Snow deals with a roguish terrorist Blue, two sister, Kadife and Ipek, and several naïve school boys, who all inspire Ka to write poems about his experiences in Kars. What most impressed me about the novel, is the shear feat of story-telling. In the 5th chapter, Pamuk does something very unorthodox and brings it off magnificently; it is a dialogue between two people, one who is killed by the other, and which discusses the main plot-driving force, religion-controlled vs state-controlled. The prose is swift and crafted to perfection, nothing superfluous, and the image of snow in every chapter may seem tiresome, but it really adds a layer of continuation that helps to drive the narration. A wonderful book, exciting and heart-felt: Orhan Pamuk cares deeply about his country and its place in the world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Fraud

  • By: Anita Brookner
  • Narrated by: Anna Massey
  • Length: 7 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 29

When Anna Durrant is reported missing her friends seem unconcerned at her disappearance. After all, her life has been one of concealment. For years Anna submitted to the protective dependence of her mother, and even after Amy Durrant’s death she simply conformed to the expectations of others. Increasingly, Anna feels herself trapped by these expectations.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jamesian, Whartonesque, Eliotlike 📚📖

  • By Gretchen SLP on 12-10-16

Where is She Now?

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-15-17

[rating = A-]
A wonder of poetic prose and gentle thought. Anita Brookner takes aim at frauds and those who pretend. One should always be themselves for everyone else is already taken! Anna lives alone, used to take care of her mother, and she is also used to being meek and subjective. She is pure, in a literal sense and she feels restless. Aunt Vera, who is not really Anna's aunt is patient with her, but finds her odd, for she is not married and she is so tiresome. Mr. Halliday is the doctor who filters through the pages, sometimes reminiscing and at others, he is checking-up on some patient, one or the other. The reader gets the background through short passages put sparingly, but that is not to say that one does not understand them. They are moments when the I felt happy and joyous at the simple life and daily routine with which these characters live. Albeit the story is slow, it is interesting to try to figure out the eventual ending, which is very rueful and gives a feeling of waywardness. Very abrupt, but if the story were to continue, well, it might have been just too boring and not that excitable mocking tone that kept you reading. Superbly and avidly written with a cautious mind, a hand with a firm grasp on the pen.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Middle C

  • By: William H. Gass
  • Narrated by: Jeremy Arthur
  • Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 29
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 29

Gass’ new novel moves from World War II Europe to a small town in postwar Ohio. In a series of variations, Gass gives us a mosaic of a life - futile, comic, anarchic - arranged in an array of vocabularies, altered rhythms, forms and tones, and broken pieces with music as both theme and structure, set in the key of middle C. It begins in Graz, Austria, 1938. Joseph Skizzen's father, pretending to be Jewish, leaves his country for England with his wife and two children to avoid any connection with the Nazis, who he foresees will soon take over his homeland....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Double Doubts and Identities

  • By K.N.R. on 03-10-16

Double Doubts and Identities

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-16

[rating = B+]
Mr. Gass is a wonderful stylist. His diction is superb and his sentences are fluid and effortless. The story is actually quite well plotted: the family comes over from Austria to England then to America. Joseph, Joey, Professor Skizzen are all one and the same, and Gass's ability to transition from he story, each time-period is quite masterful. I think the novel is about finding one's place; finding that middle C in the sea of other notes. There are many notes that go by the same name, variations are what makes the world go round. The idea that one person can have the same name or appearance but he utterly different, I believe, is what Gass's novel is trying to expose. At any rate, the language amazes the reader and even the smallest of phrases alights in the light and ear. Mr. Gass may go about philosophizing too much at times (the Inhumane Museum looses me as a bit random) but the idea of language as power is certainly there, and the thought humans can survive anything is still even more poignant

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • The Zone of Interest

  • By: Martin Amis
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 10 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 155
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 134
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 135

The Zone of Interest is a love story with a violently unromantic setting. Can love survive the mirror? Can we even meet each other's eye, after we have seen who we really are? In a novel powered by both wit and pathos, Martin Amis excavates the depths and contradictions of the human soul.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • the performance is excellent, superb

  • By john on 03-26-15

Love between the Smoke and Gas

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-30-16

[rating = B]
This was my first try at Mr. Amis. I have heard only good things about him, but have never committed myself until now. The story is told by three perspectives: Thompson, Doll, and Szmul. Each character is very specific and tells a part of the overall story. Although this style has been done before, Martin Amis utilizes them very effectively; though one comment would be that somethings that are "said" seem a bit random and unimportant. With the whole concentration camp in the background, there are also sprinkles of love, sabotage, revolutionaries, and death. The tone of the novel is rather mocking, and I find that the diction is at times very hilarious. One flaw would be the fake speech; there are very British phrases that no Nazi would ever say, and likewise, the German, though superficial and key to this type of fiction, is rather annoying and indecipherable. But I enjoyed the novel and found the end exceptionally satisfying and well done.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful