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Summary

In Istanbul, in the late 1590s, the Sultan secretly commissions a great book: a celebration of his life and his empire, to be illuminated by the best artists of the day – in the European manner. But when one of the miniaturists is murdered, their master has to seek outside help. Did the dead painter fall victim to professional rivalry, romantic jealousy or religious terror? 

A thrilling murder mystery, My Name Is Red is also a stunning meditation on love, artistic devotion and the tensions between East and West.

©2001 Orhan Pamuk (P)2012 Faber Audio

What listeners say about My Name Is Red

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Reader

I couldn’t get through the whole book because I couldn’t stand the reader. He took the story far away from Istanbul with his interpretation of the characters.

6 people found this helpful

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Captivating and beautiful

Thoroughly enjoyable, intriguing with a knowledgeable basis. Narrator is fantastic, as always. Highly recommended book.

5 people found this helpful

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Performance mars content.

An important novel, but one where voice performance dreadfully obstructs the accessibility and enjoyment. To be ungenerous, it screams unrestrained 'luvvy'.

2 people found this helpful

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Torturous

It's hard to say what does not work here. Is the translation poor? Are the sentences too elaborate and baroque? Is the difference between an contemporary Anglo-phone audience and a medieval Turkish court too wide to remain interested? Temporal and cultural distance does not prevent the enjoyment of say, Umberto Eco's work or Garcia Marquez's, though.

The story begins - intriguingly - with the murder of an illuminator of manuscripts, and we expect to be taken into the world of scribes and illustrators. And so we are, but the pace of description and plotting is as slow, and the story as digressive, as the arabesques adorning the margins of medieval manuscripts. Perhaps that is the point. Unfortunately it did not hold my attention. I have no idea who killed whom and why, and I'm never going to find out: I gave up after four hours.

John Lee's narration feels laboured. Certainly the editing of the chapters, with their abrupt ending and no pause between end and new chapter, makes it harder for the reader to digest the narrative. It's all a little too abrupt.

11 people found this helpful

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Requires attention!

Took a while to grow on me, but it did grow on me. Potentially this might be more of a reading than listening text but the narration itself is excellent and this story really rewards the relative slowness and passivity of listening to narration.

1 person found this helpful

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A real test of stamina, just awful.

I was tempted to give up on this book after the first couple of hours and wished that I had.

I did persist until the end hoping things would improve but In the end I was left disappointed and frustrated.

The plot line is woefully thin and buried so deep under hours and hours of meaningless waffle that I’m still not entirely sure if I understood it correctly.

The only redeeming feature was John Lee’s narration.

1 person found this helpful

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Not getting it

OK, so there's a murder which is how it starts but then it just gets very hard to get into. I do understand that this was written by a very great writer and I have really enjoyed some very unusual books in the past but this one is beyond me.
I'm not getting the names. I have read somewhere that the person who calls himself Red is the actual colour red speaking and then I lost the thread of what characters I was listening to at any given time.
There's a thread what I think is promising yo become a love story it's just sticking it out that's a challenge.
I have found in the past that books I almost gave up on became extraordinarily good but after what I think is a fair chance of 19 chapters (where the narrator is a gold coin who admits to being a forgery???) I am giving up.
I vaguely remember now that I might have tried and failed on a book from the same writer which was said to be an absolute masterpiece but I'm not sure anymore what it was. Anyway I will try yo return it.

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Great storyteller even though he tired me at times

A wonderful technique by Orhan but the philosophy of painting didn't inspire me. I prefer his post Nobel books.