‘endgame’ — a turkish seaside noir by ahmet altan

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in turkey, recently imprisoned writer ahmet altan is a giant cultural figure. his novel “endgame” sold more than 250,000 copies there when it was published in 2013. to put that in perspective, jonathan franzen’s most recent book, “purity,” sold less than half that in the united states with a national population that’s four times as large. now, alexander dawe’s english translation of “endgame” brings a major international writer to an american audience for the first time. (europa editions)guns go off early in this seaside noir. over lunch, the unnamed narrator — a semi-retired crime-writing casanova — asks the mayor of the coastal town he’s visiting why there have been so many killings. “people here are a little behind the times,” the mayor explains. “revenge is still a powerful emotion.” the narrator casually guides readers through the town’s violence, worrying more about his liaisons with various mistresses than the blood and body parts on the streets. “fear fed more fear,” he wryly observes. “it only took one of [the townspeople] to start a new fire and it fanned out in every direction, consuming anyone in its path. . . . these people event......

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