The Story of Red – a colour, an emotion, and death

A murder mystery, a calmly wild game of cat and mouse, making you constantly guess who the killer is.  A story of love and betrayal, manipulations and jealousy, human nature tested at every twist of fate but most importantly, very real. And all this is set in a dreamy world of painters and storytellers of ancient times when kings ruled the land and beauty was measured in time.

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk is a Turkish novel translated into over 60 languages, English being one of them. It is everything you could ask for, for a thrilling reading experience. Teenage lovers being reunited later on in life, check. Cold blooded murder and then some more, check. Deceit, betrayal and all that comes with the politics of business, check. Kings and kingdoms with its fascinating quirks, check. A run down through history that shaped the nature of events in the story, check. Insight into the deep yet twisted workings of the human mind, check. Dwelling into what truly drives our actions, check. And a justification for each action, good or bad, check.

What makes this book marvellous is not the fact that it actually has in it all the essential tropes of a good story, but the way in which it is told. Orhan Pamuk has used the first-person reference throughout the novel and taken it a step further.

Each chapter expands on the story, spoken through the eyes of a different character. Including the killer. Keeping you guessing who he could be, and why he did what he did. All this is set during the times of the ancient Ottoman Empire when kings ruled the land, and beauty was preserved through paintings.

To avoid disappointment in art, one mustn’t treat it as a career. Despite whatever great artistic sense and talent a man might possess, he ought to seek money and power elsewhere to avoid forsaking his art when he fails to receive proper compensation for his gifts and efforts.

My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

If you desire excitement and adventure, this book is for you. If murder and romance is the combination that hits the spot, this book is for you. If you are an art and history lover, this book is definitely the one you have to read right away.

Whoever you are, or whatever be your preferred genre, be prepared to be teleported by this book. To a time long ago, into the world of artists and paintings, detailed so meticulously that you can see them before your eyes, feel the pain of the painter, sense the story the colours are trying to tell you.

And you’d wish to not come back.

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