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Ali & Ramazan (Englisch) Audio-CD – Audiobook, 24. April 2012

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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Born in Istanbul, Perihan Magden has written novels, poetry, and a column in Turkey’s national daily newspaper, Radikal. She is the author of two novels currently available in English, Messenger Boy Murders and 2 Girls, as well as Escape and The Companion. 2 Girls was made into film by director Kutlug Ataman and premiered at the 2005 London Film Festival. Her novels have been translated into eighteen languages, including German, French, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, and Dutch. She is an honorary member of British PEN and winner of the Grand Award for Freedom of Speech by the Turkish Publishers Association.

Translator Ruth Whitehouse was first introduced to Turkish language and culture while working as a violinist in Ankara after graduating from the Royal College of Music in London. After her return to London, she focused on her career as a musician and raising two children while still maintaining her interest in Turkey. She went on to complete a BA (Hons) degree in Turkish studies and a PhD in Modern Turkish Literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies. More recently, Ruth has also studied Persian, and she works as a translator from Turkish and Persian into English. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .


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17 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
intense - bound to be a classic 2. Februar 2012
Von Amazon Customer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
I just bawled my eyes out for fifteen minutes. When the back of the book promised that it would leave me "reeling in emotion", I had no idea what I was in for. This is a short book, but you quickly grow attached to the characters, Ali and Ramazan. They have a legendary quality, like Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Gilgamesh, of course, being the royal prince - the way that Ramazan is the "boss" of the orphanage. Enkidu, the strong wild-man, born to be Gilgamesh's friend the way it seems Ali is destined to be Ramazan's soul-mate. Yet the book also draws comparisons to the tragic love of Romeo and Juliet, that sense that love is doomed, and the tragedy that occurs because of missed connections and moments.

This book is no easy book to read. It is crude, harsh, and intense. The main characters are orphans in the city of Istanbul, thrust out onto the streets at age 18. One a prostitute, the other a glue-sniffer, they scrape by and it's hard to imagine how. The descriptions of this life build in intensity. At first, the sexual acts are alluded to only, but as the book progresses, they grow sickeningly more realistic - so that the reader viscerally experiences them along with Ramazan, the main narrator of the book. And let me be clear, it didn't turn my stomach because these characters are gay. Their encounters with each other are beautifully written, touching. It is what Ramazan must do to support himself, the disgust described in his own words and senses.

But despite all the darkness in this book, somehow there is something pure and bright about the love between Ramazan and Ali that kept me turning the pages, hoping they would find a way to be together. I kept exclaiming aloud, in shock, horror, but couldn't stop reading until I had finished - all in an evening.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
The Endurance of Love 3. April 2012
Von Gary Severance - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
Ali and Ramazan is a love story between two orphans in contemporary Istanbul. Ali is an Arab boy who is placed in a state-run orphanage at a young age after the violent deaths of his parents. Ali is depressed and has a lasting memory and desire to be back living with his deceased mother. Ramazan was abandoned by his familily as an infant, and no one knows the names of his parents or their background. Ali is large and timid while Ramazan is average in size but large in personality and charisma. Ramazan takes on a role of rough guide for the bewildered and psychologically damaged Ali. He gives the trusting Ali a seemingly hard time and the large boy calls him "boss." This uneasy relationsip reminded me of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck Centennial Edition).

The story unfolds in the orphanage in filthy conditions and with limited provisions. This is largely the fault of the administrator who lives as a tyrant with his family. "Master" is an abusive husband and a pedophile, but Ramazan has learned to use his attractiveness to gain favors from the administrator. He hates himself for it but has sex with and manipulates the alcoholic man. Ali is comforted by Ramazan's leadership over himself and the other boys in the orphanage, but is jealous of his sexual relations with the Master.

Over time, Ali and Ramazan become lovers at the initiative of the smaller boy. Both seem to increase in beauty as they develop, and the other boys leave them alone due to Ali's growing physical strength and Ramazan's dominant personality. Time goes by slowly in the orphanage but the turning point approaches when both boys reach the age of 18 and are turned out into the mean streets of Istanbul. Ramazan is a year older and is turned out first. He has developed skills that he uses for male prostitution because of his relationship with Master who has remained drunkenly obsessed with the charismatic boy.

Ramazan has a break from grubbing a mean and self-loathing existence in the streets when he is drafted for a year of service in the Turkish Army. He uses is superficial charm to get a cushy job in the military as a waiter and gets employment as a waiter after discharge. This is not exciting or lucrative enough for Ramazan and he becomes a full time prostitute. Ali is turned out of the orphanage at 18 and enters the Army as a grunt because of his size and willingness to follow all orders.

The more difficult part of the story continues after Ali is discharged when he and Ramazan and another ex-orphan adult live in a hovel of a room in Istanbul. Ali's depression has never left him and he seeks solace in inhalants and alcohol. Ramazan becomes even more prolific in his sexual behavior for money. The love between the two men is challenged by their independent self-destructive actions, but it persists in a beautiful and lasting separate peace to the end of the story.

Based on a true story appearing in a newspaper article,Perihan Magden has written a lyrical account of dire circumstances given meaning by unshakable mutually dependent love of one man for another. This is a very good novel, and I recommend it to all readers even though the subject matter is often disturbing. The gritty survival in orphanage and streets is counterbalanced by an indestructible love and mutual dependence.
7 von 7 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Gritty and Courageous 30. März 2012
Von KATHI - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
Based on a true story and written by a Turkish woman, this is truly a gutsy, gritty novel in so many ways. Two boys who are living at the same orphanage in Istanbul fall in love, but they do not consider themselves gay as that is not a norm or even familiar for their culture. As they grow up, the bond becomes stronger, but the tensions do too. The forces within their relationship as well as their environment shape this story. It can be said that these forces conspire against them succeeding as lovers. And this is the main theme of this book.

This is a stunning story, simply told without a lot of dynamics to the writing style. I found it difficult to judge as the author lives in a very different culture, and the writing style was not as polished. This is also what makes this novel so amazing. It is a tragic gay love story set in a most unlikely place. The characters, as well as the author, are courageous and true throughout, not wavering in who they are no matter what challenges they faced.

Kudos to the author for telling this story! A very worthwhile read.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Ali and Ramazan based on a true story 5. Februar 2012
Von G. Uhl - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
In my opinion Ali and Ramazan are two passionately drawn characters. The story of trials they face in an orphanage in Istanbul is heart breaking. The conditions and the cruelty are extreme. The horrible conditions described in the book have been noted in the news and in documentaries. The story is absolutely worth telling and worth reading.

However, the writing here is harsh and choppy. Since I see the book is being compared to The Kite Runner I reread the first chapter of The Kite Runner when I was finished with Ali and Ramazan. There may some overlap in themes but the writing styles are completely different. I don't think the comparison is fair.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Tragic love story 19. März 2012
Von Helena - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts ( Was ist das? )
I picked this novel because I was intrigued about reading a story about two orphans who fall in love with each other as young boys and remain together for years afterwards. Ramazan is a beautiful boy who gets attention from both his male and female teachers. He is charismatic and all other boys are delighted to follow him and obey him. Ramazan is also his school principal's favorite - but that seems to be a huge burden on this young man. When Ali shows up for the first time, orphanage boys are overcome by Ali - the calm giant who is agreeable, sensitive and quiet fellow. It is in an instant that Ramazan and Ali are attracted to each other and their personalities and looks seem to complement each other.

What was interesting is that this novel is based on the real events that took place in not so distant past (1992) in Istambul, Turkey. These young boys, grow up in orphanage where they are neglected and not quite prepared for the life once they leave this government sponsored institution. They only have elementary school education. All of them are too old and emotionally damaged for adoption by other families. Without any connections, family and education they have no future. All they can offer to society is physical labor and there are plenty of others who can do the same. Their ticket out is prostitution as only means of making a living. And while Ramazan accepts such lifestyle, Ali is too pure and innocent for that. His emotional pain can be dulled only with drugs. In a world where these two men have only each other, their love for each other is stronger than any outside influence. They are co-dependent on each other emotionally and financially. Both are ill equipped to deal with world around them which inevitably leads to tragedy.

It is touching and compelling book that is both a love story and exploration of class inequity in modern Turkey. It is observation on the social injustice for the most helpless members of the society. I read this book in a day - it was that good.
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