I finished this novel last week. What a shame! Considering it was published in 1992. I try to follow Turkish literature closely but I have this personal problem. When everybody is talking about a book, recommending or suggesting, I develop this enemity against the book. I hardly get it and read it. I have been hearing İhsan Oktay Anar’s book for long. But as it happens to me with some popular books I somehow resisted reading it.
I owe an apology since I read it and I found the book amazing. Unfortunately I found out from a valuable Turkish translator’s website that the book has not been translated into English yet. If this info is still up to date, I think some publishers owe apologies to this book as well!
The book is settled in 17th Century Ottoman Empire. We follow dreams of a man called Uzun İhsan throughout the book. His story takes us different parts of the city, different social groups and their lives and a unique philosophy of life presented and pursued by some of the characters. Author, İhsan Oktay Anar is a philosophy professor, you feel it in every aspect of the book. However, you feel it in a nice way not as a stick in your eye. You follow, question, try to answer but not in a boring way but in a sweet and enjoyable way. As a sociologist myself, I can definitely say as sociologists and philosophers we know how to push people to boredom when we write or talk. Luckily this book is on the brilliant side: Telling you a philosophical and historical story in a intelligent and efficient way instead of trying to convince you to a certain truth.
Once more, I should say that this book should be translated into English or any other languages. It would be a must read for people who like historical, philosophical novels with a strong fictional base.