A historia trata de Ka, poeta turco exilado em Frankfurt, que volta a sua terra natal de infância, um lugar chamado Kars ( kar em turco quer dizer neve). Impedido de voltar a Istambul, por causa de uma nevasca, Ka se vê envolvido em sentimentos que não tinha mais: poesia- volta a escrever, romance- se envolve com Ipek e politica- se envolve numa pequena e prosaica revolução militar para impedir a ascensao de um governo religioso na eleição local.
A historia mostra as contradições de uma Turquia que pretende e não pretende ser Europa, do amor e da paixão, da poesia como arte ou não presente hoje, e da tensão interna entre secularismo e islamismo mesmo nas sociedades ocidentais- um exemplo é que todos os mais ferrenhos revolucionários puristas islâmicos do livro fumam e bebem- uma ofensa ao padrão puritano cristão.
Ka, um poeta ateu, que escreve poesia graças a epifanias com a neve, se vê na tensão de acreditar em Deus ou não, mas qual Deus? O Europeu, o Turco ou do Islã?
John Upidke em um artigo para a New Yorker:
Pamuk’s conscience-ridden and carefully wrought novel, tonic in its scope, candor, and humor, does not incite us, even in our imaginations, to overthrow existing conditions in
Outra grande resenha que encontrei sobre Neve é do NY Review of Books, chamada de TheSchizophrenic Sufi de Chirstian Caryl
Human beliefs are not just rich with multiplicity; in Pamuk's world they are also in constant flux. Some of the novel's Islamists, like Ipek's former husband, began as Marxists; the same applies to a few of the right-wingers as well. By the end of the novel several of the Islamic radicals have abandoned political activity altogether, joining earlier generations' utopians among the ranks of the resigned. Moreover, ideological labels that initially seem so clear turn fuzzy under scrutiny. The more that Pamuk's characters obsess over the binary opposition of East and West, for example, the more they undermine the very notion. The Westernizers are by no means all "atheists." Blue has been weaned not only on the Koran and the twentieth-century radical Islamist theorist Sayid Qutb, but also on somewhat dated Western traditions of third-world liberation ideology and Hollywood movies. During the "secret meeting" he turns out to be the only one who's been to Europe.
For his part, Ka says, "I wanted to be a Westerner and a believer." It never works, of course, for Ka can't really commit himself to either. Nor does love offer much of a panacea; it is yet another brand of belief, predicated on trust between two people who can never know everything about each other. When Sunay's henchmen try to enlist Ka as an ally in their hunt for Blue, they reveal, along the way, that Ipek once had an affair with the alleged terrorist mastermind. Ka will betray Blue in turn—and lose Ipek forever as a result. Ejected from Kars by the coup plotters, he returns to Germany and lives there in solitude for another few years until he is killed by an assassin—apparently in retaliation for informing on the Islamist leader. We will never know the precise circumstances of the matter, of course. But one thing is eminently clear. Here, too, Ka has failed to become a believer.
But perhaps Ka can find posthumous redemption, of a sort, in art—through the mystical unity, without religion, he has found in his own work called Snow. Toward the end of the novel Pamuk arrives in Kars on a quest of his own: to recover at least something of his dead friend's work, and to write a book memorializing it. Pamuk has already searched Ka's belongings in Frankfurt and found no trace of the little green notebook of poems, which appears to have been lost forever—probably stolen by the killer. In Kars Pamuk hopes to reconstruct the genesis of the poems, and possibly even find a recording of Ka's reading of one of the poems in the local TV archives. He ends up retracing Ka's steps, visiting the scenes of the events we know so well from what has gone before.
Along the way he encounters many of the same talismanic details that once affected Ka: the black dog, a poster warning that suicide is an offense against Islam, little wheels of "famous Kars cheese." Pamuk writes, "That morning, as I walked the streets of Kars, talking to the same people Ka had talked to, sitting in the same teahouses, there had been many moments when I almost felt I was Ka." And just like Ka, he comes together with Ipek for the first time over walnut pastries in the New Life Café—where Pamuk is similarly "undone by her beauty" and falls in love, to the same futile end. He leaves by train, just as his predecessor has done—but not before the locals have had a chance to warn us readers not to trust the author's portrayal of them.
As we find ourselves retracing Ka's steps, in more or less reverse order, we realize that we are in a palindrome, a crystalline mirroring. The symmetry may be only half-hidden, but it is all the more singular for that. We may not know what axis of the snowflake we now find ourselves on. But the sense remains that somehow the mystical unity sought by Ka and traced and evoked by Pamuk has survived the murder of the poet, and the loss of his poems; while, along the way, Pamuk the novelist illuminates his country's quandaries of identity, and the crisis of confidence between Islam and the West, with an imaginative depth we had not known before.