The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk audiobook

The Museum of Innocence

By Orhan Pamuk , with Maureen Freely
Read by John Lee

Random House Audio
20.56 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
  • $27.50
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    ISBN: 9780739369272

“It was the happiest moment of my life, though I didn’t know it.” So begins the new novel, his first since winning the Nobel Prize, from the universally acclaimed author of Snow and My Name Is Red. It is 1975, a perfect spring in Istanbul. Kemal, scion of one of the city’s wealthiest families, is about to become engaged to Sibel, daughter of another prominent family, when he encounters Füsun, a beautiful shopgirl and a distant relation. Once the long-lost cousins violate the code of virginity, a rift begins to open between Kemal and the world of the Westernized Istanbul bourgeosie—a world, as he lovingly describes it, with opulent parties and clubs, society gossip, restaurant rituals, picnics, and mansions on the Bosphorus, infused with the melancholy of decay—until finally he breaks off his engagement to Sibel. But his resolve comes too late. For eight years Kemal will find excuses to visit another Istanbul, that of the impoverished backstreets where Füsun, her heart now hardened, lives with her parents, and where Kemal discovers the consolations of middle-class life at a dinner table in front of the television. His obsessive love will also take him to the demimonde of Istanbul film circles (where he promises to make Füsun a star), a scene of seedy bars, run-down cheap hotels, and small men with big dreams doomed to bitter failure. In his feckless pursuit, Kemal becomes a compulsive collector of objects that chronicle his lovelorn progress and his afflicted heart’s reactions: anger and impatience, remorse and humiliation, deluded hopes of recovery, and daydreams that transform Istanbul into a cityscape of signs and specters of his beloved, from whom now he can extract only meaningful glances and stolen kisses in cars, movie houses, and shadowy corners of parks. A last change to realize his dream will come to an awful end before Kemal discovers that all he finally can possess, certainly and eternally, is the museum he has created of his collection, this map of a society’s manners and mores, and of one man’s broken heart. A stirring exploration of the nature of romantic attachment and of the mysterious allure of collecting, The Museum of Innocence also plumbs the depths of an Istanbul half Western and half traditional—its emergent modernity, its vast cultural history. This is Orhan Pamuk’s greatest achievement.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

A 2009 Los Angeles Times Best Book for Fiction

A 2009 Washington Post Best Book for Fiction

A 2009 Kansas City Star Top 100 Book for Fiction

“It was the happiest moment of my life, though I didn’t know it.” So begins the new novel, his first since winning the Nobel Prize, from the universally acclaimed author of Snow and My Name Is Red. It is 1975, a perfect spring in Istanbul. Kemal, scion of one of the city’s wealthiest families, is about to become engaged to Sibel, daughter of another prominent family, when he encounters Füsun, a beautiful shopgirl and a distant relation. Once the long-lost cousins violate the code of virginity, a rift begins to open between Kemal and the world of the Westernized Istanbul bourgeosie—a world, as he lovingly describes it, with opulent parties and clubs, society gossip, restaurant rituals, picnics, and mansions on the Bosphorus, infused with the melancholy of decay—until finally he breaks off his engagement to Sibel. But his resolve comes too late. For eight years Kemal will find excuses to visit another Istanbul, that of the impoverished backstreets where Füsun, her heart now hardened, lives with her parents, and where Kemal discovers the consolations of middle-class life at a dinner table in front of the television. His obsessive love will also take him to the demimonde of Istanbul film circles (where he promises to make Füsun a star), a scene of seedy bars, run-down cheap hotels, and small men with big dreams doomed to bitter failure. In his feckless pursuit, Kemal becomes a compulsive collector of objects that chronicle his lovelorn progress and his afflicted heart’s reactions: anger and impatience, remorse and humiliation, deluded hopes of recovery, and daydreams that transform Istanbul into a cityscape of signs and specters of his beloved, from whom now he can extract only meaningful glances and stolen kisses in cars, movie houses, and shadowy corners of parks. A last change to realize his dream will come to an awful end before Kemal discovers that all he finally can possess, certainly and eternally, is the museum he has created of his collection, this map of a society’s manners and mores, and of one man’s broken heart. A stirring exploration of the nature of romantic attachment and of the mysterious allure of collecting, The Museum of Innocence also plumbs the depths of an Istanbul half Western and half traditional—its emergent modernity, its vast cultural history. This is Orhan Pamuk’s greatest achievement.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“[An] enchanting new novel of first love painfully sustained over a lifetime…Part of the delight in The Museum of Innocence is in scouting out the serious games, yet giving oneself over to the charms of Pamuk’s storytelling…Freely’s translation captures the novelist’s playful performance as well as his serious collusion with Kemal. Her melding of tones follows Pamuk’s agility to redirect our vision to the gravity of his tale…What’s on show in this museum is the responsibility to write free and modern.” New York Times Book Review
“Spellbinding…A resounding confirmation that Orhan Pamuk is one of the great novelists of his generation. With this book, he literally puts love in our hands.” Washington Post
“Mesmerizing, brilliantly realized…Deeply and compellingly explores the interplay between erotic obsession and sentimentality…There is a master at work in this book…Istanbul—its sounds, its smells, its history—permeates everything.” Los Angeles Times
“Stunningly original…Engrossing and sensual…Granular and panoramic, satirical and yet grounded in reality…Great writers have made the failed love stories of desperate, self-involved men pulsate. A master, like Pamuk, makes the story feel vital.” Associated Press
“Pamuk has created a work concerning romantic love worthy to stand in the company of Lolita, Madame Bovary, and Anna Karenina…[Pamuk] is as accomplished an anatomist of love as Stendhal or Hazlitt in Liber Amoris…Kemal’s narrative crosses decades, assembling a fascinating social world of families, friends, and dependents, a rich palimpsest of the lives and mores of Istanbul’s haute bourgeoisie.” Financial Times
“Enchanting…A tour de force…Museum digs deep into memory, and the inescapability of the past. And just as Dostoyevsky did in critiquing a Russia that looked outward to Europe rather than inward to find its soul, Pamuk portrays an upper class that takes its cues from the West, while threatening to dislodge itself from its native culture…Pamuk’s triumph is that you wish Kemal would stay a while longer.” Philadelphia Inquirer
“[The Museum of Innocence] grabs and compels us, in prose that is deliberate, thoroughgoing, meticulous…What clarifies breathtakingly by book’s end—perhaps its secret heart—is the inverse story that is Füsun’s: the quiet indictment of a culture locked into ancient mores that suffocated women to death.” San Francisco Chronicle
“[Pamuk’s] most accessible novel and his most profound…Following the spirit of Marcel Proust or another Turkish writer, Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, the novelist’s art is to accumulate detail in ‘a “sentimental museum” in which each object shimmers with meaning.’” Economist
“A world-class lesson in heartbreak and happiness…Pamuk’s own presence in this wily narrative is as surreptitious as passion itself.” O, The Oprah Magazine
“A charmingly old-fashioned love story whose principal interest lies in the author’s warm-hearted evocation of his milieu: Istanbul is Pamuk’s city like Dublin was Joyce’s or Chicago Bellow’s.” Denver Post
“A virtuoso comment on East and West.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
“[Pamuk] once again distinguishes himself by creating this romance that in its magnitude and ingenuity reaches the level of literature’s greatest romances…Beyond the brilliant story line and the exquisite writing and imagery lies the soul of a man laid bare, a man who we should find at best intolerable (and at worst possibly despicable) but who yet finds such joy in this single-minded love that we cannot help but admire him…It is in this duality that we glimpse Pamuk’s genius.” Chattanooga Times Free Press
“A belletristic banquet…Pamuk describes Kemal’s decline with operatic drama and painterly flair…His writing [is] lush, grand, and masterful.” Louisville Courier-Journal
“An alluring story—big in every way in Pamuk’s hands.” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Pamuk’s sensual, sinister tale is a brilliant panorama of Turkey’s conflicted national identity—and a lacerating critique of a social elite that styles itself after the West but fails to embrace its core freedoms.” Vogue
“An enthralling, immensely enjoyable piece of storytelling…The large-scale social portraiture of The Museum of Innocence is beautifully assured; lightly satirical but also affectionate; a very tender evocation of Istanbul’s moment of dolce vita.” Guardian (London)
“Exquisite…An expansive, delicate, and deceptively straightforward romance…Against the backdrop of a shifting, evolving city, attracted to, yet skeptical of, the West, Pamuk gracefully, at times teasingly, pursues his themes of memory, custom, and sacrifice.” Daily Mail (London)
“This is the greatest novel of the new century…In its sensuousness of the life observed, its Olympian insight into the clashes of classes and professions, and its fearlessness in tackling the great themes of human existence without dilution by showiness, tricks, or superficiality, it evokes the great novels of love and obsession by Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Mann.” New Leader

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Orhan Pamuk

Author Bio: Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk is a prominent literary author who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. His novel My Name Is Red won the 2003 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and his numerous novels have been translated into more than sixty languages. He lives in Instanbul.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 20.56
Audience: Adult
Language: English