Snow by Orhan Pamuk
This is actually the review on which I’ve received the most likes. It appears I’m not the only one who did not appreciate this novel.
Nine Reasons I (strongly) disliked this book:
1. There is a snowflake diagram of poetry. I’ll say no more.
2. The main character is a whiny, infantile, grown man who falls in love with every woman he encounters. As is the narrator whose name happens to be the same as the author, and two of the young men who play huge parts in what little of the plot I cared for.
3. The author made himself a character in his ownstory. I don’t like that. I always wonder if they had writer’s block and couldn’t invent a fictional character to take the reins.
4. In the same paragraph the female lead character is described as “seething in hatred” and “laughing adoringly” at said whiny, infantile grown man. Bad writing, bad translation or intentional?
5. This story had no cohesion. Things just happened to the main character without much exposition. The exposition that did come was mainly philosophical and seemingly tangential. And if I have to read another sentence about whether a Muslim woman should wear a scarf or how beautiful and terrifying snow can be, I will go batty.
6. I did not understand the motivations behind most of the characters’ actions. I admit this may be due to my ignorance of the social intricacies of the Turkish realm. This book did not inspire me to find out.
7. As a poet, I hated that the main character wrote 19 poems throughout the novel, but the reader never got to read any of them. This point is explained in the story, but it still bugged me.
8. The author inexplicably tried his hardest to make the novel seem like a biography even though A NOVEL is featured prominently on the cover.
9. From this novel I am to presume that every Turkish woman is profoundly beautiful and that Turkish men can only drag themselves after these creatures in the hope of being noticed.
Bonus reason: two years later I’m still angry I read this book!