A hauntingly beautiful childhood memoir.Pamuk shares with us his own personal journey of life in Istanbul-it is not only the description and the history of the city,its landscape and people-but the relationship between Istanbul and Pamuk that is poignant.There is a certain oneness between the two;the fall of the Ottoman Empire is his personal loss,the ruins of the city his cause for lament. The B&W pictures complement his state of mind.Yes there is a strange somewhat unfinished shadow of beauty that hangs in the air,inspite of the sorrowful and wistful writing.(like the old Ottoman villas still have ivy creeping over the crumbling walls).
I probably liked the book a lot because I am tired of Naipaul miserably bumbling about trying to find his roots.
Drawback: You might never want to hear the word 'melancholy' again after seeing it appear about a hundred times in the book.
Still I'd say its a must-read,atleast once.