Title: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World
Authors: Shafak, Elif
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 306
Year: 2020
Language: English
Description: 10 minutes and 38 seconds, the time it takes for the brain to shut down after death, and the time now allotted to Tequila Leila to share the story of her life. From Leila's childhood in a rural Turkish town to life as a prostitute, from her cherished outcast friends to the events bringing her to her final resting place, this structurally original novel lays bare the life of a lively and complex woman.

Compassionate and powerful, this is an insightful story combining lyrical prose with an unflinching portrait of modern Istanbul.

Categories: Fiction, Community, Contemporary, Culture/Ethnic/Racial, Gender Issues, Social commentary/perspectives, Turkey, 2022 Titles


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By: HAVE 015 2022-04-29 11:44:28
Loved it! Some thought the ending a bit gruesome and hurried, but loved the rest.

By: NAP 005 2022-04-22 12:48:32
Everyone in our group enjoyed this book which generated a lot of discussion. It was very well-written and very readable. It was such an original and creative way to introduce the story, drawing in the main characters and how they came to live in Istanbul. Although they all had different beliefs and completely different backgrounds, Leilah united them with her interest in them, and her kindness. It emphasised how, as a united group even though outcasts, life is more manageable in a country where men with money and power rule.

By: THAM 003 2022-04-11 13:18:00
Very mixed response to this book. Some loved it, some did not finish. Interesting exploration of a life. Those who finished it said it was worth persevering with.

By: CHCH 001 2022-03-30 14:48:50
This book was very well received - a 'page turner' with lots of different twists and turns. It could have been 'dark' but the central character and her five friends made for intriguing reading. Very well-written - easy to read and a most unusual plot.

By: WELL 046 2021-10-27 12:05:17
A harrowing but very well-written and fascinating book. Thoroughly worth reading.

By: WHAKA 020 2021-10-05 12:09:58
This book got a very mixed review, with some people really struggling to complete it and others really enjoying the way it was written.

By: WAIUK 005 2021-10-01 09:33:30
A fascinating and unique concept which everyone enjoyed. Beautifully written with interesting descriptions of the life, customs, culture and attitudes in Turkey, especially in regards to women. The author was obviously well attuned to Istanbul. A great story about how friendships can support and sustain through tough times. Some of the later chapters became a bit farcical and detracted from the earlier chapters. Overall a beautifully written novel that cleverly entwines fact and fiction in a unique way.

By: HAMIL 068 2021-07-30 14:06:37
Loved by all once they got into the read, some thought the blunt start of a murdered prostitute's dying memories was a fascinating way to set the tone of the story. Mostly we loved their friendships and shared grief which were beautifully told, as were the author's vivid settings which we could taste and sense.

By: CHCH 503 2021-07-05 10:24:06
We all really enjoyed this book. We have read other books by this author, and find her way of expressing herself is meaningful and insightful. Felt the 'cemetery' a bit "slapstick".

By: AUCK 143 2021-06-28 11:22:15
There was universal appreciation of the beautiful writing style, and also the power of characterisation of the friends.

By: LITRIV 003 2021-06-17 11:07:17
Most of the group rated this book highly but many commented that if they'd picked it up in a shop/library and read the back cover they wouldn't have bought it -they're now pleased that bookclub made them read it! The writing was fantastic and the structure and themes made for lively discussion. We would read more from this author.

By: NELS 086 2021-05-20 14:51:35
Enjoyed by all the group. Particularly enjoyed the cultural feel, and those who had travelled to Turkey found it very relatable.

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