Friday, February 11, 2011

In Turkey I am Beautiful - Brendan Shanahan

In Turkey I am Beautiful. Brendan Shanahan

This book was recommended to me by an Australian girl I met recently, so I looked it up and purchased it second hand on Amazon.

The author Brendan Shanahan is an Australian writer. He returns to Turkey two years after his first visit He goes back to visit his friends in a carpet shop in Istanbul and his friend Hüsseyin asks him to run the shop in his absence. He is going to America on a selling trip. We also meet his friend Tefvik, a drug addict.

Before he takes over the running of the shop he decides to travel east. His journey takes him to Sanliurfa, Mardin, Diyarbakir and Konya among many other places. 
Later he returns to Istanbul to run the carpet shop. The book recounts hıs experiences. It is well structured and you find yourself wanting to read on but it is not your typical travelogue. You have the sense that he is talking to you and describing his experiences good and bad. His language is very descriptive e.g. "Istanbul is a Blanch DuBois city, best seen in low artificial light". His description of coming into Goreme on the bus will stay with me for a long time. He wrote what I felt seeing it for the first time.

You get a real sense of his growing understanding, affection and respect for the Turkish psyche.

Anybody who has travelled in Turkey or spent time there will identify with and enjoy this book

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