Book Review: A Strangeness in my mind by Orhan Pamuk


  • ISIN: 978-0307700292
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Publishers: Random House
  • Price: Rs. 1824.73/- (I got this book from the publisher for a review)

From the Nobel Prize winner and best-selling author of Snow and My Name Is Red: a soaring, panoramic new novel—his first since The Museum of Innocence—telling the unforgettable tale of an Istanbul street vendor and the love of his life.

Since his boyhood in a poor village in Central Anatolia, Mevlut KarataƟ has fantasized about what his life would become. Not getting as far in school as he’d hoped, at the age of twelve he comes to Istanbul—“the center of the world”—and is immediately enthralled by both the old city that is disappearing and the new one that is fast being built. He follows his father’s trade, selling boza (a traditional mildly alcoholic Turkish drink) on the street, and hoping to become rich, like other villagers who have settled the desolate hills outside the booming metropolis. But luck never seems to be on Mevlut’s side. As he watches his relations settle down and make their fortunes, he spends three years writing love letters to a girl he saw just once at a wedding, only to elope by mistake with her sister. And though he grows to cherish his wife and the family they have, he stumbles toward middle age in a series of jobs leading nowhere. His sense of missing something leads him sometimes to the politics of his friends and intermittently to the teachings of a charismatic religious guide. But every evening, without fail, Mevlut still wanders the streets of Istanbul, selling boza and wondering at the “strangeness” in his mind, the sensation that makes him feel different from everyone else, until fortune conspires once more to let him understand at last what it is he has always yearned for.

Told from different perspectives by a host of beguiling characters, A Strangeness in My Mind is a modern epic of coming of age in a great city, a brilliant tableau of life among the newcomers who have changed the face of Istanbul over the past fifty years. Here is a mesmerizing story of human longing, sure to take its place among Pamuk’s finest achievements.

Behind the book


About the author

ORHAN PAMUK won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. His novel My Name Is Red won the 2003 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His work has been translated into more than sixty languages.

Me thinks

Getting this book for review was a sign from the Universe for me. That is what I choose to believe. There has been a strange longing in my heart since many days, a longing for something that neither can I put it in words nor point it out with my finger. This book describes that longing exactly the way I feel it. Many times in life we long for something only to get something else. And at times long for it to get it and yet feel unhappy. There is no way can we justify that or explain that dissatisfaction to anyone any how. 

This novel talks about all such confusions in life and much more in a manner that is unique only to Pamuk. My first book of his but loved and revered till the last word. Nobel Prize winners always intrigue me with their work and that is one of the reasons why I choose his book. Not a single dull moment therein, in a way this can easily be called one of his best works.

When you associate the name of an author of his stature you automatically narrow down the book to one of the two categories - good story or bad story. Nothing else remains to be judged. Here, the story is fabulous and language flawless one that makes you time travel along with him to the dusty lanes of Istanbul and all along with the lead character following his heart and soul.

There are some stories you guld and then there are some you swallow....while some stories have the magic to swallow you and THIS book was that magical. You need to read it to experience the charm of his writing and live in that longing with him, a longing that refuses to leave long after the book is over. 

Strongly recommended for one and all.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like ice cream sandwich - delicious in every bite, crunchy, sweet, cold and yet yummy!



  1. Lovely review..would love to read it.

    1. Thanks a ton for stopping by, it is actually an amazing book!


Post a Comment

Words are all that this blog is made of ~ From me to you,
And words are all that I crave for ~From you to me!