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My Name Is Red cover art

My Name Is Red

By: Orhan Pamuk,Erdag M Goknar
Narrated by: John Lee
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Publisher's Summary

In Istanbul, in the late 1590s, the Sultan secretly commissions a great book: a celebration of his life and his empire, to be illuminated by the best artists of the day – in the European manner. But when one of the miniaturists is murdered, their master has to seek outside help. Did the dead painter fall victim to professional rivalry, romantic jealousy or religious terror? 

A thrilling murder mystery, My Name Is Red is also a stunning meditation on love, artistic devotion and the tensions between East and West.

©2012 Orhan Pamuk (P)2012 Faber & Faber

What listeners say about My Name Is Red

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A long time before greatness

Took longer than I would have liked to get invested, both due to the convoluted start with constant perspective shifts and multiple named characters being introduced rather fast. Though once I did, it became hard to stop listening to. If it hadn't come as a recomendation from a friend I trust, I definetly would have given up much sooner though, 15-20 chapters is far too late for me to usually extend my grace period.
Once it did find its footing though, I found it became a really intriguing murder mystery and the perspective changes elevated the story rathered than hinder it like it felt at first.
Everything about it fell between really good and passable to me, though I am not sure I found any aspects earth shatteringly amazing.

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  • P1969
  • 01-11-2014

Torturous

It's hard to say what does not work here. Is the translation poor? Are the sentences too elaborate and baroque? Is the difference between an contemporary Anglo-phone audience and a medieval Turkish court too wide to remain interested? Temporal and cultural distance does not prevent the enjoyment of say, Umberto Eco's work or Garcia Marquez's, though.

The story begins - intriguingly - with the murder of an illuminator of manuscripts, and we expect to be taken into the world of scribes and illustrators. And so we are, but the pace of description and plotting is as slow, and the story as digressive, as the arabesques adorning the margins of medieval manuscripts. Perhaps that is the point. Unfortunately it did not hold my attention. I have no idea who killed whom and why, and I'm never going to find out: I gave up after four hours.

John Lee's narration feels laboured. Certainly the editing of the chapters, with their abrupt ending and no pause between end and new chapter, makes it harder for the reader to digest the narrative. It's all a little too abrupt.

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13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paula Johnson
  • 15-04-2019

Reader

I couldn’t get through the whole book because I couldn’t stand the reader. He took the story far away from Istanbul with his interpretation of the characters.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Swede
  • 06-05-2016

Captivating and beautiful

Thoroughly enjoyable, intriguing with a knowledgeable basis. Narrator is fantastic, as always. Highly recommended book.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • S. Potter
  • 31-07-2017

Performance mars content.

An important novel, but one where voice performance dreadfully obstructs the accessibility and enjoyment. To be ungenerous, it screams unrestrained 'luvvy'.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Adrian J. Smith
  • 22-12-2021

Beautiful, but difficult narrative style

My Name is Red is certainly a commendable and imaginative work, however, the narrative style can make the book seem confused, even disjointed.
This reviewer was torn between awarding a 3 and a 4 Star rating, but 4 was settled upon owing to the strength of the philosophical insights and the beauty of the text.
This version was enhanced by the narration of John Lee, who I can only describe as the greatest ever Audible narrator.
A challenging, yet beautiful work. Even if one is lost within the narrative, simply lay back and enjoy the beauty of the writing. Not an easy undertaking, but well worth it.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss K. S. Maddison
  • 04-04-2021

Requires attention!

Took a while to grow on me, but it did grow on me. Potentially this might be more of a reading than listening text but the narration itself is excellent and this story really rewards the relative slowness and passivity of listening to narration.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Ian
  • 23-02-2020

A real test of stamina, just awful.

I was tempted to give up on this book after the first couple of hours and wished that I had.

I did persist until the end hoping things would improve but In the end I was left disappointed and frustrated.

The plot line is woefully thin and buried so deep under hours and hours of meaningless waffle that I’m still not entirely sure if I understood it correctly.

The only redeeming feature was John Lee’s narration.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Caz
  • 12-07-2023

Excellent

Brilliant book. Transports you to another culture and time while at the same time providing intrigue. Loved the multiple narrators.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rockesh Gurtu
  • 07-03-2023

Beautiful!

I was transported to this amazing 16th century world of art & history, enjoyed it but it was a lot to unpack & process too ! I would read it again , learnt a lot

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • htspider
  • 21-05-2022

Entirely Justified Acclaim

A cleverly scripted tale set in Istanbul at the beginning of the 17th century. A story of murder and intrigue amongst miniaturist painters, the Islamic background made it a fascinating listen. Recommended.

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