It is 1935, and Tom Stewart, a young Englishman with a longing for adventure, buys himself a cheap ticket aboard the SS Darjeeling-en route to the complex and corrupt world of Hong Kong. A shipboard wager leads to an unlikely friendship that spans seven decades as Hong Kong endures the savagery of the Japanese occupation, emerging as a crossroads of international finance and the nexus of a world of warlords, drug runners, and Chinese triads. [goodreads.com]
Dread, yearning, identity, intrigue, the lethal chemistry between secular doubt and Islamic fanaticism-these are the elements that Orhan Pamuk anneals in this masterful, disquieting novel. An exiled poet named "Ka" returns to Turkey and travels to the forlorn city of Kars. His ostensible purpose is to report on a wave of suicides among religious girls forbidden to wear their head-scarves. But Ka is also drawn by his memories of the radiant Ipek, now recently divorced. Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, Ka finds himself pursued by figures ranging from Ipek's ex-husband to a charismatic terrorist. A lost gift returns with ecstatic suddenness. A theatrical evening climaxes in a massacre. And finding god may be the prelude to losing everything else. Touching, slyly comic, and humming with cerebral suspense, Snow is of immense relevance to our present moment. [goodreads.com]
Orhan Pamuk proffers a dazzling work of historical and philosophical fiction, set amid the scholarship and savagery of 17th-century Constantinople. When a young Italian scholar is taken prisoner, he becomes the slave and tutor of a Turkish scholar who is his exact double. The book is a triumph of the imagination, as colorful and intricately patterned as a Turkish prayer rug. [merlin.pl].