you slew a man and then fell out with one another concerning him.
—koran, the cow.
the blind and the seeing are not equal.
—koran, the creator.
to god belongs the east and the west.
unlike many of his characters, orhan pamuk has never lived beyond the city where he was born, but in a city like istanbul there are already hundreds of lifetimes of stories yet to be told. still, at the bridge between europe and asia it can seem that almost much of the far away worlds has already passed through these famous narrows, and traces still lay collecting in the cities byzantine alleyways. my name is red is a ruminating mystery haunted by love, art, religion, and politics. it is infused with cultures, legends, history and philosophy that all drift through the narrative like wisps of smoke. the tense interplay between ancient traditions and human passions is brilliantly illustrated through intersecting stories of painting, romance, faith, and murder. slowly, piece by piece, a variety of highly subjective first-person narrators build the story out of beguiling dialogue and enchanting tangents. fascinatingly, the fragments all begin to fold in upon each other, gradually fusing into a single dramatic conclusion. desolate winter in the ancient city profuse with rich textures and disparate voices comes to life with the passion, melancholy and elegant, evocative complexity of an arabesque illumination or byzantine mosaic.