Nights of Plague – a playful approach to big themes

Lucy Hughes-Hallett in The Guardian:

Orhan Pamuk likes to play new games. Every one of his books has differed markedly from the others, yet each shares a capacity for disconcerting the reader. This one is long and intellectually capacious. It tackles big subjects: nationalism and the way nations are imagined into being; ethnic and religious conflict; the decline of an empire; the political repercussions of a pandemic. It includes many deaths.

Yet, for all the weight of its subject matter, its tone is lightly ironic, arch, even flippant. It has many flaws. It is repetitive; it contains far too much exposition. All the same – formally and in terms of content – it is one of the most interesting books I’ve read this year.

More here.