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3.27  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  66 reviews
'I don't remember pulling the trigger; I only heard the gunshot.

And then I saw a mouth opening, as if to speak, a face contorted, one hand in the air. . .

And then a body falling . . .'

A man retires to a sun-baked Turkish town for a quiet life. But he finds a world of suspicion, paranoia and violence. The town has made a murderer of him. The question is, who did he kill?

Paperback, 384 pages
Published August 6th 2015 by Canongate Books (first published April 1st 2013)
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Average rating 3.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  428 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Christian Westermann
This novel starts with a dilemma that slowly unravels in the nature of J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace: A Novel and Graham Greene's classic The Quiet American. Endgame is about a middle-aged writer who retreats to a Turkish town in the countryside as an escape from the hustle and bustle of living in the city for so long. On the way in he strikes up a relationship with a fragile girl named Xuhal. They continue to talk to one another through late night online chats and then meet regularly in public. As ...more
Mai Habeeb
I love his writing. I'd give five stars to his writing because it's bloody beautiful. The plot of this story though, it's kinda bleh. There was no suspense, no excitement. Nothing I really felt, anyway. Gave up halfway.
Daniel Polansky
A middle aged, not particularly successful writer moves from Instanbul to a small resort town on (presumably) the Black Sea and is destroyed by its erotic secrets and nefarious crime lords. At its core a solid if unspectacular crime novel in the James M Cain vain, its gussyed up with a lot of theological/philosophical ramblings which I confess I couldn’t quite feel were on par with, say, Ecclesiastes. Altan, also a journalist, is currently serving a life sentence basically for pissing off Turkey ...more
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
This book opens with a man on a beach of a Turkish coastal town who is holding a gun having killed someone and he waiting for the repercussions which are more than likely going to be his death given what we subsequently learn about the events that lead to the situation and the volatile atmosphere.
The narrator then tells how he his a writer who retreats to the town to write, on the plane he meets and is attracted to Zuhal a woman who it transpires is the love of the towns mayor Mustafa. In the
M. Sarki
Apr 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Ahmet Altan knows how to write, but even the literary level he attains in this novel failed to keep me turning the page. Almost half way through I gave up my reading. Nothing of myself was invested in his story, there were no characters I felt emotionally attached to. There was no future for me and thus I saw no end. Limbo is where I should remain, and for eternity, if I remember anything at all about this fiction, might wish it may have been different.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Danny Cerullo
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A middling writer finds himself living in a small town where two old, powerful families are fighting over a fabled treasure in an old church. The writer has an affair with the wives/girlfriends of the head of both families. This stuff is fairly standard, but it's the narrative asides of Ahmet Altan that make this book pop. He has long-winded conversations with God about the nature of free-will and novel writing. He accuses God of being a terrible writer, creating flawed characters and requiring ...more
Pammy-sue Jones
Sep 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
I received this book through Goodreads Giveaways.

There were parts of this book I found really intriguing - such as the friction between lead families within the village. However, the ranting internal monologues about and to God were truly tedious. Same for the numerous dysfunctional relations with women.

I did enjoy the style of the unreliable narrator (I felt the style was sometimes similar to Martin Amis). I dislike giving negative reviews but this book felt like it was going around in circles
Sep 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
I don't usually leave reviews, just stars. This book was terrible. Imagine harlequin romance with some weird sexual abuse stuff.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one is 3.5 stars in my opinion but I am giving it greater mark than lower.

First to make one thing clear - this is not your standard thriller. This is more of a drama with criminal elements. Main character - writer seeking peace and comfort in secluded village in order to finish his new novel with hopes of becoming popular again - ends up in a very strange village controlled by feuding families. Out of pure curiosity he decides to stay in the village, move that will mark him forever.

Celine Abuzahra
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, as it is something completely different to what I initially expected. It includes a lot of philosophy on life, it’s meaning and the idea of sins. It’s philosophical way of writing intrigued me and convinced me to keep on reading. I especially enjoyed the romance aspect to this book, regarding the triangle of lovers and the friendships formed (either good or bad). Also, the setting and description was lovely and well-written always. In addition, the idea of a town ...more
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I loved the book starting off, but then it got a little slow in the middle. The writing style is fascinating - switching between present, past, and then what seem like internal conversations with God (who is depicted as an author like the main character, which is an interesting concept). I will admit that some sections were hard to read visually because there was no capitalization and little punctuation (meant to be more chat room-esque), which is fine, but pages of it was a little hard on the ...more
Jan 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some good characters and quotes - "Fear is the price you pay for be superior, you acquire things you do not need and then begin to fear losing them." The story jerks between life/death, happiness/suffering, reality/fantasy, passion/loyalty, solitude/society. The talks with God about writing the "book of life" annoyed me after a bit - repetitious and too 'precious.' To what lengths do we go to rationalize our selfish choices, instincts gone awry, abuse of others? I actually found it ...more
Alison Large
Aug 19, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads Giveaways winner- thank you!

Unfortunately neither the plot nor the characters captured my attention so I really struggled through reading this book. The relationships between characters did not ring true so I had little interest in what happened to them. All of the women in the book were objectified.
"If Steinbeck had written The Godfather it would have read like this "(DBC Pierre), Yeah, maybe. If Phillip Roth or Kurt Vonnegut had written the sex/lust/love/romance parts. Didn't care for the tidy ending.
“Endgame” is an atmospheric and enigmatic Turkish literary noir, in which an unnamed writer visits a small town and finds himself embroiled in a world of lust, ambition, small-town politics, and death..
Jul 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Reminded me a little of Jim Thompson's dark humor.
Alfred Nobile
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved his writing. So poetic but I wasn't enamoured by the story. Very Predestrian!
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read about 120 pages and decided I wasn't in the mood to read it. However, it's well written and well translated.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Was intrigued in the beginning, liked how well the author created a sense of character and place, but disliked the several extemporaneous dialogues and chatting sequences.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it liked it
This novel approached so many things: mystery, absurdity, sensuality, but never quite Got There on any one, though a bit closer on existentialism. It was a good, satisfying read.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Book would be great as a movie.
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
More of 2.5 stars. Liked the suspense and also the overall idea but found it repetitive and a bit overwritten (translation?)
Mar 01, 2018 rated it did not like it
I wanted to give up on this book multiple times. The sex was not sexy, the plot was inane and unbelievable within a larger world, the characters were unconvincing, and the references to an online world felt tremendously dated, the conversations with God were self-indulgent, and the mystery was of no interest. The writing was fine, I enjoyed the images the author was able to create (a packed cafe in a small town, a secluded hotel on a mountain lake, etc), but overall I did not enjoy the book.
Susan Crosswaite
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book from Goodreads giveaways.

Endgame starts with the narrator having just killed someone and then takes you back to the beginning of the story. The killer, an author, moves to a quiet town but soon finds it to be a place full of violence and suspicion. The book is somewhat complex and there are a number of irritating and lengthy email exchanges between the narrator and his lover which are unnecessary, but I enjoyed it overall and it was certainly different to other crime thrillers.

Full of elements that appear to make it a kind of existential mystery-noir (hitmen, cyber-sex, a love triangle, apocryphal riches, a smoking gun) but by the end have still failed to cohere into anything memorable; an oddly dull novel, though I'll be the first to admit I know nothing about Turkish fiction.
Jun 23, 2016 rated it did not like it
Received free through GoodReads first Reads - thank you.

The synopsis sounded like my kind of novel. However I just could not get into it. There is something in the writing that I like but it didn't grab me enough to make me WANT to continue reading. Is that because of the translation? I don't know. I confess I didn't finish it.
Craig Gillan
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: firstreads
Free from firstreads, small town paranoia and secrets with one man in the middle
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He was born 1950 in Ankara, Turkey to the notable journalist and writer Çetin Altan as the first of two sons. His brother Mehmet Altan is also a journalist, writer and university professor of economy politics.
A working journalist for more than twenty years, he has served in all stages of the profession, from being a night shift reporter to editor in chief in various newspapers.
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“In the heart of every writer there lies a murderer.
Writers spend their lives struggling to conceal this murderous desire from other mortals.
Like God, they ruthlessly destroy the people of their own creation, drag them from one cruelty to another, meting out punishment, and with the callous indifference of a serial killer. And no one knows when he has taken a life from the solitude of his room. But when a writer is enraged the walls of his refuge come crumbling down, revealing his true identity.”
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