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A Strangeness in My Mind: A novel Audiobook, by Orhan Pamuk Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Orhan Pamuk Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2015 ISBN: 9780385368551
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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 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. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Magnificent…[Readers] won’t forget Mevlut or Mr. Pamuk’s Istanbul. Both seem too vital to exist only in the pages of a book.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “[Written with] virtuosic craft, intellectual richness, emotional subtlety, and a feeling of freedom that comes from a narrative that finds its most meaningful moments in the side streets of storytelling.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A textured and rewarding narrative…[Pamuk] chooses multiple perspectives over moral judgment, which allows him to focus on the inner lives of his characters.”

    Economist (London)

  • “Pamuk does for Istanbul something like what James Joyce did for Dublin…He captures not just the look and feel of the city but its culture, its beliefs and traditions, its people and their values.”

    Washington Post

  • “Makes the life of a struggling street vendor become, on the page, as monumental and as worthy of our attention as a sultan’s.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Mesmerizing…A thoroughly immersive journey through the arteries of Pamuk’s culturally rich yet politically volatile and class- and gender-divided homeland.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Rich, complex, and pulsing with urban life: one of this gifted writer’s best…Pamuk celebrates the city’s vibrant traditional culture—and mourns its passing—in wonderfully atmospheric passages.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Narrator John Lee’s performance is seasoned with a delicate touch of melancholy as Mevult contemplates his family, fate, and God while wandering the city’s neighborhoods selling boza (an alcoholic drink). Lee easily guides listeners past two of the challenges of this audiobook—its nonlinear structure and variety of perspectives—keeping confusion at bay. Most impressive is how Lee’s pacing reflects the rhythms of the city and Mevult’s life, from the quiet foundations of tradition to the bustle of the twenty-first century. Among the highlights is Lee’s impeccable rendition of the boza seller’s call. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Publishers Weekly Pick of the Week
  • A 2016 International Man Booker Prize Shortlist Selection

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About the Author

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.

About the Narrator

John Lee is the winner of numerous Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration. His has twice won acclaim as AudioFile’s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and coproduced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.