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Istanbul Noir (Akashic Noir) [Paperback]

Mustafa Ziyalan , Mustafa Ziyalan , Amy Spangler
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Dec 2008 Akashic Noir
A city at once ancient and modern, Istanbul is the quintessential postcard-perfect metropolis. But the alluring vistas can be deceiving, for beneath this veneer as a meeting place of cultures, religions and ethnicities lies a heart of cold-blooded darkness, seething with desire, boiling with vengeance and burning with frustration.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: AKASHIC BOOKS; FICTC edition (4 Dec 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933354623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933354620
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.1 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 922,677 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Variation 18 July 2009
By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Other than Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk, Turkish literature isn't widely known or readily available in the U.S., so I was pleased to see this latest entry in Akashic's Noir series. Fourteen of the sixteen stories are by established Turkish writers, none of whom have never had their work translated into English before. As in the other books in this series, the stories are divided into four sections ("Lust & Vengeance", " Pushing Limits, Crossing Lines", "In the Dark Recesses", "Grief * Grievances") to no obvious purpose or effect.

While I more or less enjoyed most of the stories as I read them, by the end they had mostly run together in a blur of typical noir tropes, and I was left with more of a mood or tone than anything else. When I went back to read the introduction, I saw that the mood had a name: "huzun" -- and connotes a kind of melancholy heaviness of spirit. That struck me as a rare case of an introduction actually being quite accurate in defining the underlying spirit of the book. I suppose my problem was that there wasn't enough variation in that tone between stories. Unlike most anthologies, I couldn't, at the end, point at two or three authors whose voice caught my attention and made me want to seek out more of their work.

The two stories that did stick out were the two by non-Turks: Jessica Lutz's "All Quiet" and Lydia Lunch's "The Spirit of Philosophical Vitriol." The former is a well-done fictionalization of a real-life underground Islamic group, the latter is a terrible waste of time and space. It's a totally gratuitous, obvious, lame pseudo-feminist revenge fantasy with zero connection to Istanbul and I have no idea how it made it into this collection.
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3.0 out of 5 stars not bad 21 Jan 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
not bad grand. it works, what else do you want from me eh?! it works like. it does what it says on the tin
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Variation 18 July 2009
By A. Ross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Other than Nobel Prize-winner Orhan Pamuk, Turkish literature isn't widely known or readily available in the U.S., so I was pleased to see this latest entry in Akashic's Noir series. Fourteen of the sixteen stories are by established Turkish writers, none of whom have never had their work translated into English before. As in the other books in this series, the stories are divided into four sections ("Lust & Vengeance", " Pushing Limits, Crossing Lines", "In the Dark Recesses", "Grief * Grievances") to no obvious purpose or effect.

While I more or less enjoyed most of the stories as I read them, by the end they had mostly run together in a blur of typical noir tropes, and I was left with more of a mood or tone than anything else. When I went back to read the introduction, I saw that the mood had a name: "huzun" -- and connotes a kind of melancholy heaviness of spirit. That struck me as a rare case of an introduction actually being quite accurate in defining the underlying spirit of the book. I suppose my problem was that there wasn't enough variation in that tone between stories. Unlike most anthologies, I couldn't, at the end, point at two or three authors whose voice caught my attention and made me want to seek out more of their work.

The two stories that did stick out were the two by non-Turks: Jessica Lutz's "All Quiet" and Lydia Lunch's "The Spirit of Philosophical Vitriol." The former is a well-done fictionalization of a real-life underground Islamic group, the latter is a terrible waste of time and space. It's a totally gratuitous, obvious, lame pseudo-feminist revenge fantasy with zero connection to Istanbul and I have no idea how it made it into this collection. Another factor that might explain the relative similarity is that the Turkish authors being pretty much all belong the same generation (I think all except one were born within the same mid-1960s to mid-1970s span), and thus sharing a great deal of the same history and experience. So, on the whole, I'd suggest dipping into this for a taste of Turkey, but don't expect to much.

Readers interested in modern Turkish crime novels should check out Mehmet Murat Somer's three books: The Prophet Murders, The Kiss Murder, and The Gigolo Murder. Other new writing from Turkey available in English includes Selcuk Altun's Istanbul-set Songs My Mother Never Taught Me and Emine Sevgi Özdamar's Berlin-set The Bridge of the Golden Horn and Moris Farhi's A Designated Man.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If... 14 Jun 2011
By Just Another Urban/e Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you like plot-driven, sanitized, scrubbed, polished mysteries with a neatly tied-up, twist ending, with faux-outrageousness, or if you like orientalist fluff, you may not like this book that much.
But, if you like gritty narratives with a strong sense of location and sociopolitical context, if you like, say, Derek Raymond or James Sallis, you may enjoy this book.
This could be the book that identifies and fertilizes a Turkish kind of noir.
Give it a chance.
I'm glad I did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well done Noir! 19 Feb 2012
By StrawberryCat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It is dark, heavy, heady. It is quite a smorgasboard, has something for every noir fan. (BTW, Murat Somer or Agatha Christie do not count as noir!) It has a story about a guy who becomes increasingly obsessed with fire, another one that comes with its own wind and soundtrack. I was lucky to see it mentioned (next to "Istanbul" by Orhan Pamuk) in "10 of the best books set in Istanbul" in The Guardian. I loved it!
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not really good or surprising at all! 5 Feb 2009
By Miss Marple of New York - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
well, if you expect a high level of crime writing from a city like Istanbul (see Mehmet Murat Somer's Kiss Murder or imagine My Name is Red of Orhan Pamuk)you will be disappointed! Try other books and writers as the so called anthology is missing the best (even the essential) of crime writers from Turkey. What a pity... a second class job with the 2nd cast...
1 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In goog condition and arrived on time. Texts are also up to expectation 20 Jan 2009
By Jacob Fine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The writing quality is excellent in most of the texts. Next to suspense, space description (Towns, neighborhoods) is up to literary expectation.

Josaphat-Robert Large
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