It’s not your typical boy-meets-boy love story, as Perihan Magden’s Ali and Ramazan is set in the darker side of Istanbul. Magden has established herself as an outspoken writer in her native Turkey, and this short novel keeps her reputation as a fearless author with no untouchable topics. Both Ali and Ramazan are introduced as young boys who end up in an impoverished Turkish orphanage run by the sadistic Master who has selected Ramazan as his favorite. This story takes the reader on a bittersweet adventure as the two urchins grow into psychologically distraught lovers who cannot live with each other or, more depressingly, without each other. Ali and Ramazan is a tragic love story with a somber overtone that keeps you intrigued throughout the quick page-turner, where you struggle to find any characters to root for. And yet, the well-written plot keeps you wondering what lies ahead for the boys once they are released onto the streets of Istanbul without the support of the state. Both make choices, and the consequences are tragic. Amazon Crossing (amazoncrossing.com). —Review: Jack Berger
Jack Berger is an Account Executive for OutSmart Magazine.
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