Book Review of The Black Book

The Black Book
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I first read the author's later book, "Snow" and loved being immersed in the exotic complexities of modern Istanbul culture. The Times Literary Supplement called this one "Pamuk's masterpiece," and inasmuch as he is an internationally acclaimed and award winning author, I decided to try this one, too. This was a more challenging read, an unconventional mystery, and a "provacative meditation on identity." In it, the wife of a lawyer living in Istanbul has disappeared, and mysteriously, so has her ex-husband, a popular newspaper columnist. Keeping his wife's disappearance a secret, the lawyer - trying to determine for himself what has happened - gradually takes on the identity of the ex-husband, wearing his clothes, even writing his columns. But answers remain elusive, just out of his grasp, in a changing and fluid situation. A cult novel in Turkey, this has been newly translated for US reader, and has been widely acclaimed here.