cover image A Strangeness in My Mind

A Strangeness in My Mind

Orhan Pamuk, trans. from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap, read by John Lee. Books on Tape, library exclusive, , unabridged, 18 CDs, 22 hrs., $55 ISBN 978-0-385-36856-8

Reader Lee has a pleasing baritone voice and a slightly clipped British accent that’s easy to settle into. Fortunately, he doesn’t need to create numerous other voices, because even though the story is told from the perspective of multiple characters, they’re delineated clearly by the author in sections. The chief protagonist, Mevlut Karatas¸, sells boza (a thick, fermented wheat drink) in Istanbul. For more than four decades from 1969 to 2012, he walks the streets at night with a carrying pole on his shoulders, calling out his wares. We follow Mevlut’s through the years, from childhood to marriage, and walk with him through the poor, middle-class, and rich neighborhoods of the city. We watch Istanbul expand and diversify. Along with Mevlut, we struggle with the cultural, political, and religious evolutions that alter everyone’s lives. Nobel laureate Pamuk has written a lyrical ode to the city and the people he loves. Lee takes us on Pamuk’s wondrous journey through Istanbul, its people, places, and history. A Knopf hardcover. (Oct.)