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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (16,407 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Orhan Pamuk Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2007 ISBN: 9780739354315
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“A great and almost irresistibly beguiling . . . novelist. . . . [Snow is] enriched by . . . mesmerizing mixes: cruelty and farce, poetry and violence, and a voice whose timbres range from a storyteller’s playfulness to the dark torment of an explorer, lost.”–The New York Times

An exiled poet named Ka returns to Turkey and travels to the forlorn city of Kars. His ostensible purpose is to report on a wave of suicides among religious girls forbidden to wear their head scarves. But Ka is also drawn by his memories of the radiant Ipek, now recently divorced.
Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, Ka finds himself pursued by figures ranging from Ipek’s ex-husband to a charismatic terrorist. A lost gift returns with ecstatic suddenness. A theatrical evening climaxes in a massacre. And finding God may be the prelude to losing everything else. Touching, slyly comic, and humming with cerebral suspense, Snow is of immense relevance to our present moment. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Not only an engrossing feat of tale-spinning, but essential reading for our times…Snow is eerily prescient, both in its analyses of fundamentalist attitudes and in the nature of the repression and rage and conspiracies and violence it depicts…[Pamuk] deserves to be better known in North America, and no doubt he will be.”

    Margaret Atwood, New York Times Book Review

  • A major work . . . conscience-ridden and carefully wrought, tonic in its scope, candor, and humor . . . entirely contemporary . . . with suspense at every dimpled vortex . . . Pamuk is gifted with a light, absurdist touch . . . In Turkey . . . to write with honest complexity about such matters as head scarves and religious belief takes courage. Pamuk [is] that country's most likely candidate for the Nobel Prize. John Updike, The New Yorker
  • Not only an engrossing feat of tale-spinning, but essential reading for our times . . . Snow is eerily prescient, both in its analyses of fundamentalist attitudes and in the nature of the repression and rage and conspiracies and violence it depicts . . . [Pamuk] deserves to be better known in North America, and no doubt he will be. Margaret Atwood, New York Times Book Review
  • Powerful . . . Astonishingly timely . . . A deft melding of political intrigue and philosophy, romance and noir . . . [Snow] is forever confounding our expectations. Megan O’Grady, Vogue
  • From the Golden Horn, with a wicked grin, the political novel makes a triumphant return . . . As if Nabokov and Rushdie had taken their circus act on the road, or Carlos Fuentes were Anatolian instead of Aztec, or Milan Kundera remembered how to laugh. John Leonard, Harper’s Magazine
  • [A] great and almost irresistibly beguiling novelist . . . [Snow] is enriched by the author's mesmerizing mixes: cruelty and farce, poetry and violence, and a voice whose timbres range from a storyteller's playfulness to the dark torment of an explorer, lost. Richard Eder, New York Times
  • Richly detailed . . . A thrilling plot ingeniously shaped . . . Vividly embodies and painstakingly explores the collision of Western values with Islamic fundamentalism . . . An astonishingly complex, disturbing view of a world we owe it to ourselves to better understand. Kirkus Reviews
  • A novel of profound relevance to the present moment. The debate between the forces of secularism and those of religious fanaticism is conducted with subtle, painful insight into the human weakness that can underlie both impulses. Bel Mooney, The Times
  • “‘How much can we ever know about love and pain in another’s heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known?’ Such questions haunt the poet Ka . . . [in] this novel, as much about love as it is about politics. Sarah Emily Miano, The Observer
  • Profound and frequently brilliant . . . Pamuk shows decisively that the European novel remains a form, and a freedom, for which we have reason to be thankful . . . Snow illuminate[s] the confrontation between secular and extremist Islamic worlds better than any work of nonfiction I can think of. Julian Evans, New Statesman
  • Snow has already been a bestseller in Turkey - given Pamuk's stature as a novelist and the novel's content it could hardly fail to be. But what makes it a brilliant novel is its artistry. Pamuk keeps so many balls in the air that you cannot separate the inquiry into the nature of religious belief from the examination of modern Turkey, the investigation of East-West relations, and the nature of art itself ... All this rolled into a gripping political thriller. John de Falbe, Spectator
  • “What a pleasure it is when we come across some really fine fiction now and again. From its opening words, Orhan Pamuk's new novel Snow stands out from the contemporary slush ... Without ever drifting into the doldrums of meditation, Pamuk has managed to write a novel of ideas in the form of a highly dramatic story. This he achieves by a skilful, and very natural blending of the techniques of poetry and prose ... When it first came out in Turkey in 2002, Snow angered Westernised Turks and Islamists alike. This ambivalence complements the novel's construction which grows, most satisfyingly, out of one single image - an elegance which gives to the whole a profound sense of unity, and fragility. Snow is a genuine tour-de-force. Ron Butlin, Sunday Herald
  • “A melancholy farce full of rabbit-out-of-a-hat plot twists that, despite its locale, looks uncannily like the magic lantern show of misfire, denial, and pratfall that appears daily in our newspapers . . . Pamuk gives convincing proof that the solitary artist is a better bellwether than any televised think-tanker. Stephen O’Shea, Independent on Sunday
  • “An urgent question seethes at the heart of Orhan Pamuk's latest novel: ‘Can the West endure any democracy achieved by enemies who in no way resemble them?’ Judging by the Turkish author's devastating parable of political extremism, the answer is no ... As in The White Castle and My Name is Red, Pamuk elegantly dissects the recurrent quandary in Turkish history - look westwards, or inwards and backwards. ... Never one to flinch from the weighty issues of Turkey's past and present history, Pamuk is here at his most political yet. Angel Gurria-Quintana, Financial Times
  • Pamuk can lift the veil on a world that, to many Westerners at least, would not exist. This is a timely translation ... Its compassion for all sides and painstaking march towards tragedy is breathtaking.'
    –James Hundleby, Jack
  • Pamuk uses his powers to show us the critical dilemmas of modern Turkey. How European a country is it? How can it respond to fundamentalist Islam? And how can an artist deal with these issues? . . . He is the sort of writer for whom the Nobel Prize was invented. Tom Payne, Daily Telegraph
  • From the British reviews of Snow
  • “With a wicked grin, the political novel makes a triumphant return…As if Nabokov and Rushdie had taken their circus act on the road, or Carlos Fuentes were Anatolian instead of Aztec, or Milan Kundera remembered how to laugh.”

    Harper’s Magazine

  • “A work of art…Alternating between the snowstorm’s hush and philosophical conversations reminiscent of Dostoyevsky’s great novels, Snow proves a…timely and gripping read.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “Marvelous…As quiet and transformative as a blizzard and as coldly beautiful.”

    St. Petersburg Times

  • “An urgent question seethes at the heart of Orhan Pamuk’s latest novel: ‘Can the West endure any democracy achieved by enemies who in no way resemble them?’ Judging by the Turkish author’s devastating parable of political extremism, the answer is no…As in The White Castle and My Name is Red, Pamuk elegantly dissects the recurrent quandary in Turkish history—look westwards, or inwards and backwards…Never one to flinch from the weighty issues of Turkey’s past and present history, Pamuk is here at his most political yet.”

    Financial Times

  • “A melancholy farce full of rabbit-out-of-a-hat plot twists that, despite its locale, looks uncannily like the magic lantern show of misfire, denial, and pratfall that appears daily in our newspapers…Pamuk gives convincing proof that the solitary artist is a better bellwether than any televised think-tanker.”

    Independent on Sunday (London)

  • “A novel of profound relevance to the present moment. [The] debate between the forces of secularism and those of religious fanaticism…is conducted with subtle, painful insight into the human weakness that can underlie both impulses.”

    Times (London)

  • “Powerful…Astonishingly timely…A deft melding of political intrigue and philosophy, romance and noir…[Snow] is forever confounding our expectations.”

    Vogue

  • “In Snow, Pamuk uses his powers to show us the critical dilemmas of modern Turkey. How European a country is it? How can it respond to fundamentalist Islam? And how can an artist deal with these issues?…The author’s high artistry and fierce politics take our minds further into the age’s crisis than any commentator could. Orhan Pamuk is the sort of writer for whom the Nobel Prize was invented.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “Profound and frequently brilliant…Pamuk shows decisively that the European novel remains a form, and a freedom, for which we have reason to be thankful…Snow illuminate[s] the confrontation between secular and extremist Islamic worlds better than any work of nonfiction I can think of.”

    New Statesman (London)

  • “Part political thriller, part farce, Snow is [Pamuk’s] most dazzling fiction yet. One of the top books of the year.”

    Village Voice

  • “Pure magic…Snow is excellent.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Brilliant…Pamuk writes with such grace and deep respect for his conflicted characters that this rich novel passes like a dream, encompassing every aspect of love and belief.”

    People

  • “What a pleasure it is when we come across some really fine fiction now and again. From its opening words, Orhan Pamuk’s new novel Snow stands out from the contemporary slush…Without ever drifting into the doldrums of meditation, Pamuk has managed to write a novel of ideas in the form of a highly dramatic story. This he achieves by a skillful, and very natural blending of the techniques of poetry and prose…When it first came out in Turkey in 2002, Snow angered Westernized Turks and Islamists alike. This ambivalence complements the novel’s construction which grows, most satisfyingly, out of one single image—an elegance which gives to the whole a profound sense of unity, and fragility. Snow is a genuine tour-de-force.”

    Sunday Herald (London)

  • Snow has already been a bestseller in Turkey—given Pamuk’s stature as a novelist and the novel’s content it could hardly fail to be. But what makes it a brilliant novel is its artistry. Pamuk keeps so many balls in the air that you cannot separate the inquiry into the nature of religious belief from the examination of modern Turkey, the investigation of East-West relations, and the nature of art itself…All this rolled into a gripping political thriller.”

    Spectator (London)

  • “‘How much can we ever know about love and pain in another’s heart? How much can we hope to understand those who have suffered deeper anguish, greater deprivation, and more crushing disappointments than we ourselves have known?’ Such questions haunt the poet Ka…[in] this novel, as much about love as it is about politics.”

    Observer (London)

  • “Richly detailed…A thrilling plot ingeniously shaped…Vividly embodies and painstakingly explores the collision of Western values with Islamic fundamentalism…An astonishingly complex, disturbing view of a world we owe it to ourselves to better understand.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • One of the 2004 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2005 Prix Médicis Étranger
  • A 2004 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Iffat | 2/6/2014

    " Whether one is an atheist or a die-hard Islamist, the emotion called love over rules us all. The way Orhan has beautifully scripted his novel, with intricate descriptions-made it a very sensuous type of reading. At one point i could literally taste 'snow' on my tongue! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Crissa Cummings | 1/28/2014

    " Fascinating story and look at the cultures and people that are struggling with Islamic extremists. This is not a fast read but is very thought provoking. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Athena | 1/26/2014

    " I couldnt get into this book as it did not catch my attention but it was a good idea... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenn | 1/20/2014

    " Thought it was a bit "lost in translation" and over written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sylvia | 1/10/2014

    " The perfect portrait of depression. I enjoyed the silent smothering snow, the emotionally detached characters, the cloying and overheated interior scenes, and the characters' acceptance of the unacceptable, and was very glad when it was over. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan | 1/4/2014

    " Yup! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anu | 11/28/2013

    " Wanted to stay forever in that landscape. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather De armas | 8/26/2013

    " Thoughtful and wee visualized portrait of the politics and remote fullness of villages in deep Turkey "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luann | 5/4/2013

    " A gift from my daughter Avery, a complex and challenging novel. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Hristina Ivanova | 2/10/2013

    " I can't, just can't.. tried, read 3/4 of it, but after almost a month of struggle, I'm giving up on this book. One of the very few books I haven't read till the end. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Gaemy | 12/21/2012

    " It's one of the most overrated books,ever. It's painful to say the least. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shoshana Visser | 4/4/2012

    " I tried several times but finally gave up. Could make heads nor tail of it and did not waste more time on it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 4/3/2012

    " Although this book can be difficult for someone (like me) with zero frame of reference on Turkish history, politics, and culture, don't give up. The complex political, personal, and artistic questions addressed, the skillfull narrative structure--it's worth it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gale | 1/22/2012

    " I'd really like to give it a 3 1/2 . It's an interesting book, and it is very well written, and it covers a topic that is in the news (fundamental islamists & the western view of the mideast). But it just didn't captivate me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paige Newman | 8/20/2011

    " Though I admired the story and the writing, I just didn't connect with this book. I never really felt for the protagonist. Pamuk, however, does a great job describing the city and all the different factions who are working against each other. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janneke | 7/25/2011

    " Aan de ene kant is dit best wel een intrigerend boek. Je wilt weten hoe het afloopt. Maar aan de andere kant is het een saai boek, het gaat allemaal zo traag. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 6/11/2011

    " Very enjoyable (if that's the word) insight into a Turkey seldom seen. well worth a read and I will now hunt down some more of Mr Pamuk's books for sure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 5/2/2011

    " Read it as part of my book club. It was not that great but I made myself finish it... made me lose faith in the male race. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 4/17/2011

    " One of the best books on the struggle between the past and the present in Turkey. The plight of the headscarf girls is horrifying and touching at the same time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Manuel | 4/10/2011

    " Una novela bastante buena, expone de una manera cruda el conflicto entre el islam y el “modernismo” de occidente. Aunque el comienzo es un poco tedioso la novela va de menos a más. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lily | 4/5/2011

    " Fascinating, but not an easy read. Really confused book club members. I have the CD version as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tamara | 3/29/2011

    " I loved this book. Not only was it beautifully written (and translated) but I learned so much about Turkish history and the current state of affairs in Turkey (which I knew nothing about before). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dru | 3/26/2011

    " Tough read. I found it to be somewhat depressing. I could not completely engage with the lead character and had a hard time finishing the book. The descriptions of a depressed Turkey and the religious and political aspects were interesting though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 3/16/2011

    " I liked it generally - interesting not least because it was set in Turkey - and I haven't read much set there. But a lot of political discussion as backdrop, which I wasn't familiar with and which was a distraction. I kept wanting the author to speed up and just tell me what happened. "

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About the Author
Author 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.

About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.