A Strangeness in My Mind

  • by Orhan Pamuk, Ekin Oklap - translator
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 21 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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 Karataş has fantasized about what his life would become. Not getting as far in school as he'd hoped, at the age of 12 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 family, 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 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 50 years. Here is a mesmerizing story of human longing, sure to take its place among Pamuk's finest achievements.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Ah, Pamuk

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It's just wonderful -- no wonder Pamuk got the Nobel for literature. And if you love Istanbul it's a must -- the city over decades is a virtual character in the story.

What other book might you compare A Strangeness in My Mind to and why?

Other Pamuk novels, they all are great.

Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

The protagonist, Mevlut.

If you could take any character from A Strangeness in My Mind out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Mevlut, to a local kebab restaurant in Beyoglu, with a glass of his boza on the side.

Any additional comments?

Lee is perfect for Pamuk.

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- Alain "professor. like great and VERY good books, fiction and history, mainly"

A Strangeness in My Mind: A Delight for my Commute

Of the dozens of books I've listened to from Audible over the past five years, this was my favorite, and the first to inspire me to write a review. Pamuk's tale is utterly charming, bringing to life a city a knew very little about, and a wonderful cast of well-developed characters who, despite having little in common outwardly with the people in my world, are completely recognizable once you get to know them. And I can't imagine a better narrator than John Lee, who gives Pamuk's story, which is epic in structure, the feel of a fable. Lee's affection for all of the characters -- even those whose behavior is not always exemplary -- is apparent, and matched my own. I can't recommend this book highly enough, and only regret that all those to whom I'm recommending it will probably read it rather than listen to Lee's masterful performance of it. But YOU, dear Audible compatriot, are privileged to have that opportunity. So do it -- you won't regret it!
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- Andrea Frank

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-20-2015
  • Publisher: Random House Audio