10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World is a fiction novel by Elif Shafak. It is a story of a prostitute who has been murder brutally in Istanbul Street. The deceased realizes her heart has stopped but the mind is in function thoroughly. 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World is about post-death experiences and expressions that made her feel realistic. The first page of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World begins with an end. The story begins with the finding of a prostitute dead body, Leila Tequila, in a garbage dumpster on the outskirts of Istanbul. The surprising fact at the beginning is that she knew completely she is dead. It creates a curiosity in the reader’s mind and compels him to turn the page faster and faster.

Leila Tequila a turkey prostitute has busy mind for 10 Minutes 38 Seconds after the heart stops beating. The next portion described Leila’s life, her early years in small turkey, the hardship, and hard-earned comforts that left a deep impact on her soul.

The last third part covers her five closest friends. An outcast band that made a surprising entrance incidentally. The 5 made a hard-earned colorful entrance in a constant flux of society. The structure of the novel is hypothetically explained and intellectually satisfying. It consists of three portion mind, body and soul. 

The mind chapter of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds In This Strange World explained how many times the human mind has proceeded since her heart stop beating. Every memory is attached to the smell, texture and color of cardamom, cake, lemon, chocolate, whisky and sulfuric acid.

The backstories of Leila’s five friends cover their incidental entrance into Leila’s life. They were diverse but share a similar factor of homesickness and partial acceptance in a conservative society.

The culture of turkey is explained in terms of the charms and conflicts for all who live in an illuminating and wonderful state. Superstitions such as not eating peaches so baby won’t take healthy birth as well as linking of European and Asian turkey are well narrated.

Elfa shafak has firmly explained the life and death of Laila, a sex worker in Istanbul. She explained her background, a religious father with a conservative upbringing, and the abandoning of the home by an Armenian family.

The writer explained how the circumstances in Leila’s life have changed with the changing circumstances of turkey.

10 Minutes 38 Seconds In The Strange World is a good compilation of revolutionary forces, juxtaposing, and intricate details.

Shafak was multitasking in the whole novel. She expressed humor decently and acceptably. She wrote if Paris is a city of love, Jerusalem the city of God, Las Vegas the City of Sin than then Istanbul is the city of multitasking. Shafak themes are timely and timeless such as sex worker and trafficking, violence, drug dealing, exploitation of refugee, willful ignorance.

The blue betta fish was released when Laila was born. She was a long-awaited baby. It symbolizes individuality, solitude, freedom beauty and defiant spirit. The betta is thoughtful in this book and it is used as a scene separator. 

10 Minute 38 Seconds In This Strange World is a philosophical post-death compilation of memories and experiences. Life is short. A human is mortal. After death what he feels or sees is a mystery. However, Elif shfak has emotionally and intellectually explained the post death experience of an Istanbul sex worker who brutally murdered and later found in Garbage.  It is a worth reading book. Every word witnesses truth under the garb of fiction.


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