My Name is Red Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of My Name is Red

The story takes place in 16th century Turkey. The Sultan wants to have the best illustrators in his realm illustrate a book. As the Sultan wants to impress his Western relations, he wants the book to be illustrated in a modern and western way. This is quite controversial and causes much discussion between the elder and more traditional illustrators, and those who want their style to evolve.
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Then one day, one of the miniaturists working on the manuscript is missing. His body is found a few days later. Black, also a miniaturist, is told by the Sultan to find out who killed him. If he does not succeed, he will not be able to marry Shekure, the woman he has loved for twelve years.

What makes the story special is its structure. There are 59 short chapters in which the different characters take turns at being the narrator. Sometimes even the murderer speaks (but he always remains anonymous). Not all the narrators are major characters, or even human. For example, a dog, a drawing, 'death' and a golden coin also get their chance.

It is soon clear that the murderer has to be one of the victim's close colleagues: Stork, Butterfly or Olive. As a reader, one can gather clues, but Pamuk will have you changing your mind over and over again until the very end.

Next to a murder mystery, 'My Name is Red' is also a love story that involves Black and Shekure, Shekure's jealous brother-in-law and a Jewish matchmaker. Thirdly, it is also a philosophical debate about innovation versus tradition in art. Finally, it is a historical novel that tells one more about art and politics in 16th century Istanbul.
The review of this Book prepared by L. Peeters

Chapter Analysis of My Name is Red

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 50%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1600-1899 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in that culture Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   actor Age:    -   20's-30's


Asia/Pacific    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Orhan Pamuk Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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