29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Startling and definitely worthwhile,
This review is from: My Name is Red (Paperback)
One of the most startling historical novels i've read in a long while; the evocation of istanbul is very powerful as well as the central conflict about the difference between east and west. What makes the novel stand out, though is the use of different voices; chapters are narrated not only by the main characters, but also incidental "props" such as dogs, coins, even colours. Hence the title as one important chapter is voiced by the colour red. There is a resonance here, the use of different voices echoes against the differing theories of art, identity and indeed conceptions of reality which is the central theme of the novel. there are downsides: the transaltion is often a bit clunky, which may be expected when working with a language as diffficult as Turkish. the use of different voices requires furious attention from the reader, which many may find tiring. The mystery itself is ingenious and devilshly well contrived but the plot is hardly the point- Don't read this if you're expecting a murder-mystery. This is about what it means to be western/eastern and is powerful enough to make you leave the book with a sudden shock that you are back in this world. Brilliant.