A Strangeness in My Mind
From the Nobel laureate and best-selling author of Snow and My Name Is Red, a panoramic new novel--his first since Museum of Innocence --that brings us into Istanbul's underground in the company of a desperate street vendor. Mevlut has spent his whole life selling a local alcoholic drink on the streets of Istanbul. It is the 1990s, and although there were once thousands of boza vendors, Mevlut now cuts a lonely figure on snowy winter nights. Falling deeply into debt, and desperate to marry off his incompetent son and satisfy his mistress, Mevlut turns to his old friend Ferhat, who collects payments on electric bills. The partners traverse the backstreets of middle-class neighborhoods and shantytowns, venture into flats, shops, restaurants of the poor, relishing their power to punish cheaters and collect bribes. But when the dangers of Istanbul's underbelly catch up with Mevlut, he finds himself beaten and threatened at every turn. Istanbul is exposed as a city with a rich and dynamic underground culture that seeps into its secular business centers and mainstream society. Mevlut serves as a flighty guide, occasionally attuned to the city's nuances, but with a wild imagination and instincts tainted by desperation.
By: Orhan Pamuk