This is the first attempt I've ver made to make a book review. I want to initially put this out there because I don't claim to be a literature expert by any means. I have finagled a way to avoid any literature classes in college. I just like to read, don't make me over analyze every bit. The White Castle by Orhan Pamuk is no exception, so my review will be all praise and not much analysis.
The story is about a young intellectual in 16th-17th Venice who is captured by Turks and made a slave. He intelligence is used to help his master gain favor in the eyes of the Emperor, but the young man never gets credit. The clash between the slave and the owner is the bulk of the text, but it becomes clear through the end that despite this outward hatred for each other, they deep down admire and aspire to be each other.
The part that make the whole thing interesting is that the owner and the slave could pass for twins. The struggle of the book then becomes not one of who gets credit, but one of identity. At the end you are left to wonder not who was treated fairly, but which of the two is narrating the story. A very thought provoking exchange of personalities and desires. It was a relatively quick read, and is at times significantly depressing.
Strange to say, when you are about to finish the book you feel that it is a very happy ending. However, on actual completion you are left wishing for something more. Not that the book needed to be longer, but you wish that the lives of these two men end up differently. So despite what would seem a happy ending, the reader isn't happy. I think that is the magic of this book. I give it my full recommendation.