Thursday, August 25, 2011

Other Colours by Orhan Pamuk

Famous for the book 'Snow', Orhan Pamuk writes in this rather thick novel about his passions of writing, books, family and life in Instanbul.  From chapters that only run for a few pages, to indepth dialogue about European authors who he loved when he was young - and why - Orhan speaks openly and lovingly through his own words and onto the beautiful, thick white paper about his passion that caused him to become a writer.
However, he takes this a lot further as you read further and he takes you into his life of the heat and bustling city that is his home; along with the smells, the shops, stalls, marketplaces, beaches and noises of where he and his family lives.  When you begin reading this book, you feel as though you're being transported overseas and you've become a welcomed visitor into his home; seeing what he's seeing, feeling and enjoying as the sun sets over the humming city of Istanbul and its inhabitants.
Orhan walks you through the horrible experiences of the 1999 earthquake that struck Instanbul at 3am; how his whole family barely slept, how he didn't feel safe anywhere inside his home.  He also explains how he quickly and decisively tossed out 250 books from his 12,000 strong collection because he was worried about its weight becoming too much after the quakes.
Yes, this book is worth pouring through; however, it's not like any book I've ever read.  I don't have to read from beginning to end.  I have found I can pick and choose my chapters as I please as none of the chapters are linked very much; and I like it that Orhan has worked this book like this.  This is the kind of book on writing, books and living I've been attempting to write, but have failed.  This book is beautifully written; as the words are written as though they are breath upon the page and I'm just here to breath them in, easily and quickly without effort; as a book should be.  Orhan Pamuk has written a visually gorgeous book in more ways than one.  Until my next post, happy reading. 


  1. I loved "Istanbul: Memories and a City" - I should probably read this one next but I just picked up Snow. Can't wait to read all these!

  2. When I began reading this one, and it mentioned 'Snow', I wanted to own it because of the way he wrote. :)