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  • The Museum of Innocence

  • Written by: Orhan Pamuk
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 20 hrs and 33 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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The Museum of Innocence cover art

The Museum of Innocence

Written by: Orhan Pamuk
Narrated by: John Lee
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Publisher's Summary

It is a perfect spring day in Istanbul. Kemal, a wealthy heir, is about to become engaged to the aristocratic Sibel when he encounters Füsun, a beautiful shop girl. He falls in love and finds his established world of Westernized families, opulent parties, society gossip and dining room rituals is shattered. 

©2008 Orhan Pamuk (P)2013 Faber Audio

What listeners say about The Museum of Innocence

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An outstanding and timeless tale of Love

This is a tineless tale of eternal love.Fell in love with Orhan Pamuk's writing.
the narrator John Lee has done a wonderful job.
Much recommended.

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  • Christine lee
  • 02-11-15

The Museum of Innocence

What made the experience of listening to The Museum of Innocence the most enjoyable?

The ability of the writer to combine beautiful descriptive writing with character development and plot structure. The book has soul.
John Lees, narrator, does a super job.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Kemal, of course. He is the ringmaster of his life and a great, rich character. He
is never easy to decipher and it will be along time before I feel I have truly discoveredI him; But then
that's the reason Pamuk is such a great writer: he lets the reader be involved.

Which scene was your favorite?

Early on, the chapter of the sacrificial goat. The final chapters of the love story - but that would be
spoiling it for you !

Who was the most memorable character of The Museum of Innocence and why?

Fuzun of course. An enigma, a mystery. A classic, romantic woman with a strong
mind.

Any additional comments?

Pamuk is reputedly not to everyone's taste. But why not, is beyond me. He is a
wonderful story teller. I suppose you have to work a little harder or be a little patient as he takes his
time developing the characters, plot. I love the sub-plot with Istanbul as the
protagonist.

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  • Graeme H
  • 27-04-15

Sad and brilliant

Proust hovers in spirit over this masterful story of obsessive love.

John Lee's reading captures beautifully the tone of the book.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-10-20

Life is too short

Chosen as a book group read. I couldn’t find anything to like in the story of a mans self indulgent selfish obsession. I’m sorry to say I had to stop listening for my own peace of mind - the central character just made me angry.

3 people found this helpful

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  • mikeep
  • 08-02-21

A literary masterpiece brilliantly performed

This is an unusual love story set against a vivid portrayal of Istanbul society and Turkish culture. It’s a depiction of obsessions: of love and yearning, of collecting (actually hoarding) keepsakes related to the beloved, of clinging doggedly to memories and hopes and dreams, no matter what.
The hero refuses to give up hope, and the story of his struggle is colourful, sad and heartbreaking. His love is relentless and encompasses every part of his life, seemingly to the point of delusion, perhaps madness.
He understands that in spite of her beauty and personality, his beloved has flaws, is just a woman as he is just a man. But his vision of her and of what they become together drives him on until the impossible is within reach.
This epic novel is a brilliant exploration of the human condition, which requires us to cling desperately to the illusion that happiness, our idea of happiness, in the end will be attained, or else it’s hard to know what there is to live for. We believe with him that his love is not in vain, for in the face of despair he finds a way forward.
To the author and narrator: Bravo, this is a literary masterpiece brilliantly performed.

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  • The Great Reviewer
  • 09-03-20

Pretty boring story of some sort of mental illness

Except the links to the specifics of Turkish society in the 70s and 80s, nothing really piqued my interest. Long, boring, neither plausible, nor fantastic story, written with a limited vocabulary. Kept on listening in case the genius of a Nobel literature laureate would surface but it never did :-(

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  • Elizabeth Marshall
  • 08-03-18

Just simply elegant!

A book after my own heart. The language was perfect! Fusan was the object of Kemals obsessive love yet its was poignant, immersive, highly captivating. Nothing like I hv read before.

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  • Amal Mosawi
  • 20-01-18

a wonderful love story of faithfulness

complex emotions captured ... orhan pamuk captures a true love story as if it was his.. with the utmost adoration to the characters that lived a love story so ordinary yet so soulful because of the faithful attention of the lover that transformed him to be her.. And his love to her has turned into a profound selflove and love for life.. I was moved by the book and by fusun and kemal that I felt deep love for my womanhood and my soul!!!

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  • granahaj
  • 07-12-22

Very good book, superb narration

This is an excellent book. Pamuk’s writing is simply sublime and the way he plays with his characters and their and the readers perspective is fascinating.

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  • Lana
  • 04-11-22

Too long

The first novel I listend to by Pamuk, My Name is Red, was a masterpiece, so I was slightly comprehensive about this one. This is a story about the everlasting love, turned into all-consuming obsession, I as a reader got irritated with after listening for hours about a repeated heart pain, dinners, smoking, drinking.
If this novel were shorter, I personally would give it more stars. I know I can skip chapters, I did parts of few, but I would like not to have to do it.
John Lee's performance was impeccable, just like always. He helped me to finish it. The last long chapter was endearing again.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-07-22

Great love story, beautifully read.

Best description of consuming and agonizing love I've encountered.
Provides a fascinating glimpse to Istanbul and Turkish culture in the 50ies to 70ies.
Book is further enhanced by fantastic, soulful reading by John Lee, which is only surpassed by Jeremy Irons's narration of Lolita.

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  • Ezada
  • 01-07-22

Excellent loce book

I loved everything about it. Highly recommended book. The reading is superb as well.

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  • Gerard
  • 30-05-21

A masterpiece

Intriguing. I’m pleased to have discovered Orhan Pamuk and have no hesitation in recommending him to listeners. Looking forward to reading more.

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  • Philip
  • 14-08-21

One of our great writers

“Museum of Innocence” is a lengthy read, literary in style and may not suit everyone, but the subject matter I found rather compelling. It is a novel about a young man from a wealthy business family in Istanbul who, when buying a gift for his fiancé, meets a most beautiful 18-year-old shop assistant from a very different social class. Initially, he becomes embroiled in an audacious and all-consuming affair, despite being betrothed to a seemingly perfect future spouse who is ideally suited to his family and status. The shop assistant - quite unable to cope with his ongoing engagement plans - disappears from his life unexpectedly and her beguiled lover subsequently becomes progressively obsessed by her loss. His obsession grows to the extent that it derails his desire to marry this perfect partner somewhat to the horror of both their families. His life becomes driven only by the whereabouts of his lost lover. No one he knows understands him anymore. So, when he does find her many years later, his own life by now somewhat in tatters, she is already married. His obsession does not diminish in any way at that point, but takes on a further pace and, although unconsummated, his ongoing passion is internalised and sublimated by way of infiltrating her extended family of which he becomes a regular and welcome part.

It is, of course, an intensely emotional and sad book with a feel reminiscent of ‘Crime & Punishment’ (Dostoyevsky). The oriental setting does not in any way alienate the reader, quite the contrary, but draws one into a society that could be in any city or town. Pamuk’s narrative generates anxiety in the reader, not unlike the obsession in the main subject of this novel, making him/her preoccupied by what might happen and how these behaviours might resolve. The ending will not disappoint but I would suspect for most less predictable than you might think.

Orhan Pamuk is 69 yoa, no beginner to writing, and a literary academic and 2006 Nobel Laureate. He has a string of novels and a significant number of writing accolades to his name. He also has generated enemies in Turkish society because of his tendency to criticise politicians and prominent people as well as his advocacy of ‘freedom of speech’. For readers who have not read this author and needing more than a complex plot in a crime scenario, Pamuk is a great find.

1 person found this helpful

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  • SS at Amazon
  • 29-07-19

Excellent!

Loved this book.
So much life and so much sadness.
Exactly like in real life.