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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pamuk the greatest
Although it's one of his earliest novels (but only recently avaialbale in English), I think it's one of his very best. The atmosphere as ever is truly palpable.
Published 12 months ago by Richard Cogan / Heike Wessels

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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappopinting
I read two thirds of the book and then gave up after hearing from someone else that nothing actually happens in the story.
A dull really slow read.
Published 4 months ago by Sandra Sonola


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pamuk the greatest, 15 April 2013
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This review is from: Silent House (Kindle Edition)
Although it's one of his earliest novels (but only recently avaialbale in English), I think it's one of his very best. The atmosphere as ever is truly palpable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet approach to something really rather sad and profound, 17 May 2013
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This review is from: Silent House (Kindle Edition)
Gently gently with a cumulative and repetitive flow a bit like The Waves the story is built up and up and up until you reach a greater understanding of people and life
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to make you feel......, 29 Nov 2012
This review is from: Silent House (Hardcover)
This earlier work does not disappoint at all, in fact it is a sleeker work than his later fiction and possibly a good way in.
I found myself wandering through the narrative until an uneasy suspicion that there was a tragedy about to ensue.
As with all my favourite Pamuk books, I put this down when I finished it and felt. I felt devastated and experienced a rolling wave of catharsis. The only other author that makes me feel this way when I finish reading is Beryl Bainbridge.
I finished the book a week ago, but my mind keeps picking at it when I least expect it.
To discuss plot and characters within the work would almost unpick the pleasure of discovering both.
I love to visit Turkey (particularly Istanbul) and Pamuk helps me be there when I have work the next morning. A great author of our age. I am overjoyed that this has been translated so that English readers may experience more of his work.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Turkey's struggle with modernity, 20 Feb 2013
By 
Geoff Crocker (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silent House (Hardcover)
Orhan Pamuk's `Silent House' is a narrative portrait of Turkey's unpromising struggle towards modernity. There is little plot and so in some ways it's a rather flat read, neither gripping nor inspiring. But it does gently hold your attention. The radical doctor Selahattin, though dead, still dominates the account. He literally copies western modern thought into his planned encyclopaedia, but this fails to inform his behaviour which is brutally feudal. His surviving wife and dwarf offspring are brutalised, and the one mistreats the other. The young generation drifts and is dissolute. The tension between communist and nationalist claims is destructive. Pamuk offers only a bleak perspective on modernity in Turkey after Atatūrk. The transition fails.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A poignant portrayal of life in 1980s Turkey, 11 Mar 2014
This review is from: Silent House (Paperback)
Silent House is a 1983 novel by Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, written and published in Turkish. It is almost three decades later that it has been translated into English, which lets us have a peek into the earlier works of one of the finest writers of our times.
This book is Pamuk's second published work and is markedly different from his latter masterpieces - the works that we are more familiar with like Snow, My Name is Red or The White Castle. It is not as mysterious, magnificent or witty in comparison but definitely shows the writer's strength in keeping his audience entrapped with his story telling.
The backdrop of the story is a coastal tourist spot. Three young people arrive here from Istanbul to pay a visit to their octogenarian, invalid grandmother who lives alone in a big, decaying house in the care of a devoted but oppressed dwarf servant called Recep. And to visit the graves of their deceased parents.
The decaying house is symbolic of all that happens in the story. The grandmother Fatma is an embittered matriarch. A Turkish version of Miss Havisham, Fatma is still reeling from the bitterness of her disastrous marriage to an idealistic doctor Selahattin who brought her away from those she knew and loved into an obscure small place, chasing dreams that never materialised. His extremely modern religious and political views and alcoholism in later life still manage to enrage her so many years after his death.
Here arrives Faruk, Nilgun, and Metin. Faruk is an alcoholic like his father and grandfather. He is a divorced professor disillusioned with life. Nilgun is a young woman with leftist views while the youngest Metin is a young student desperately looking for love - and sex - and money which he believes will all be his when he is able to go to America. Other characters with a stake in the story are Recep's brother Ismail, Ismail's right-wing nationalist son Hassan who is in love with Nilgun. The deceased doctor Selahattin also makes his presence felt.
Pamuk uses the narrative in the first person in each of the thirty-two chapters of this book, giving us a peek into the mind of each character and the story proceeds from everyone's perspective. This allows a stream of consciousness to sip into the story telling.
We learn that Fatma is not only engulfed in the shaky present of health issues and loneliness but that the dark fear of an impending death haunts her like a nemesis. She resents being at the mercy of Recep, who also happens to be one of her deceased husband's two illegitimate sons.
Her own son died early along with his wife and now every year when her young grandchildren come to visit her from Istanbul, she dreads their presence on top of everything else that deludes her. However, this visit also gives her a chance to shift her focus from being nasty towards Recep to being mean to the surviving members of her clan.
Fatma doesn't like anything. The silence of the empty house translates to endless noise for her - the sound from the beach resorts, the sound of her own loneliness, imaginary creaking floors and the constant fear that Recep will tell her grandchildren that he and his brother are actually their grandfather's illegitimate sons.
Fatma's delusive and deriding fear, Nilgun's quiet loneliness, Faruk's frustration and Metin's desperation, Hassan's misplaced devotion to right-wing politics - all evoke a sense of impending times. It is 1980 - just months before a military coup takes place. Times, needs and values are changing rather rapidly. The perceptive writer that he is, Pamuk gently but distinctively weaves these and other existing cultural tensions in Turkey at the time into his story. The book is a good portrayal of the political and social structure in Turkey at the time, especially the growing frustration among its young people in their long struggle for modernity.
As the story progresses it starts to feel a bit draining, slightly suffocating, almost like a prelude to something terrible that is waiting to happen. The right leaning Hassan is in love with a left leaning Nilgun, Metin chases a girl from the local jet set that is quite beyond his actual reach - such clashing situations all set the tone for disasters that could follow.
Orhan Pamuk uses a melancholy tone in building up to the end. The format is straight and the narration from page to page builds up expectations that keep the reader rightly hooked through to the last page to see what happens next.
Silent House is definitely about a family saga, but symbolic of life in Turkey in early 1980 before the military set its tentacles into the fabric of its society, changing the country's destination.
The book is definitely not the first example one would point out to someone to explore the works of the master storyteller Orhan Pamuk. But as an earlier work of a writer who has lived on to give us some of the best literature of our times, it is not disappointing at all.
The original book in Turkish won the 1984 Madaralı Roman Ödülü in Turkey and the translated book was short listed for the 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize. It was translated by Robert Finn.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 16 Feb 2014
By 
knut sellevold (Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silent House (Paperback)
Orhan Pamuk is one of the most interesting authors I have read in a long time. His novels are a key to a deeper understanding of the skism between the western world (Europa) and the Islamic world in the middle east area. Turkey is a country with different population groups, different religions, tension between a secular and a religious way to political issues and different political groups.The country has a violent past and is also nowadays accused for disrespect of human rights and the right to speak out freely. Through this story and the persons involved in it we understand the strong tensions in this country and what disasters they can lead to.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappopinting, 16 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Silent House (Kindle Edition)
I read two thirds of the book and then gave up after hearing from someone else that nothing actually happens in the story.
A dull really slow read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars so boringly dull, 11 Dec 2013
This review is from: Silent House (Paperback)
Had to read this as it was voted for by a majority at my book club. Each chapter is dedicated to one of the main characters and you are inside their head. Nothing particular happens and if you just read the title of the chapters you get the gist of the story. Definitely one to put down!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still reading and enjoying, 17 April 2013
By 
S. M. Howard - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Silent House (Paperback)
I bought this as a holiday read having enjoyed The Museum of Innocence. I'm also enjoying this book. Won't give the story away, but it's a book that you can read a chapter and put it down, then come back and read the next without losing the thread. You can find you've read several chapters and lost track of time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars book, 30 Oct 2013
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I read this for my book group - I don't any of us that attended last time enjoyed it vey much - not much hapens really
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Silent House
Silent House by Orhan Pamuk (Paperback - 1 Aug 2013)
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