Endgame: A Novel Summary & Study Guide

Ahmet Altan
This Study Guide consists of approximately 66 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Endgame.
This section contains 839 words
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Endgame: A Novel Summary & Study Guide Description

Endgame: A Novel Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Endgame: A Novel by Ahmet Altan.

The following version of this book was used to create the guide: Altan, Ahmet. Endgame. Europa Editions, 2017.

Altan’s novel is divided in 48 chapters, alternating between the present day and the past events leading up to the present. The present takes place with the narrator having just committed a murder of an unknown person, and the past sections describe the events leading up to the murder.

The unnamed narrator, a writer with several published books, arrives in an unknown seaside town in Turkey by plane. Once there, he finds accommodation in a house overlooking the town and begins to plan his next novel. Soon after his arrival, he meets a woman named Zuhal on a plane while on a brief trip back to a large city nearby. He and Zuhal connect, and they agree to meet in town a few days later.

They meet in a restaurant where they are greeted by a man named Mustafa, the mayor of the town and Zuhal’s ex-lover with whom she confesses to still being in love. The narrator goes to a party at Mustafa’s home where he meets many of the big players in town, including Raci Bey and Kamile Hanim, and the narrator learns more about a treasure rumored to be buried under a nearby church which everyone in town seems to want.

Zuhal and the narrator begin to cultivate a romantic relationship online, exchanging thoughts and sexual fantasies with one another. He also takes up company with a prostitute named Sümbül. Mustafa soon summons the narrator to his office, asking if he will write a speech for him describing a decree banning people from approaching the church. The narrator also meets with a powerful gang boss in town named Oleander. Zuhal messages him and asks if they can meet in a nearby mountain hotel.

Zuhal and the narrator meet and make love. Back in town, Mustafa has begun digging at the church for the treasure, and as a result two of Oleander’s men are shot by a rival gang boss named Muhacir. Oleander and Mustafa are aligned as are Raci Bey and Muhacir. Mustafa again summons the narrator, asking him to write another speech stating that excavation on the church has been halted.

In another rendezvous with Sümbül, the narrator finds out that Muhacir is planning an attack on Sultan, Oleander’s nephew. Mustafa corroborates this when in a lunch meeting with the narrator. At the same lunch, Mustafa and the narrator discuss Zuhal, and Mustafa confides his feelings for her in the narrator, unaware that the two have a relationship. Zuhal also expresses over online messaging her desire to marry the narrator in a mosque.

Kamile and the narrator begin to have an affair at the same time. The narrator goes to a wedding for one of his friend’s relatives, where an old man shows him a gold coin allegedly from the church on the hill. Zuhal tells the narrator of a clairvoyant she once visited who told her that Mustafa would always be in her life. Mustafa takes the narrator to the church, and the narrator decides there is no treasure and it is all a myth.

The narrator continues to explore the town, meeting new people including a cradle maker to whom he frequently returns for advice. One day the narrator witnesses Sultan’s murder at the hand of unknown assailants, presumably Muhacir’s men. Zuhal asks the narrator to meet him at a nearby lake resort, and after a night making love, he takes her to a mosque and they marry.

The town goes into uproar over Sultan’s death and splits into two sides, those with Mustafa and Oleander and those with Raci Bey and Muhacir. Both sides court the narrator to joining their cause, but he remains impartial. He goes to the city and visits Zuhal’s house, and the two have a night on the town together, deepening their trust in each other.

Mustafa uses his power as mayor to shut down Raci Bey’s olive oil factories, and in retaliation someone burns down Mustafa’s olive groves. The narrator also has a maid, Hamiyet, whose son is soon stabbed in the escalating conflict, but survives. During one of their rendezvouses, the narrator and Kamile are interrupted by a message from Zuhal indicating that she knows about them, which damages the narrator’s and Zuhal’s relationship irreparably.

Zuhal and Mustafa become engaged as tensions in town continue to rise. The narrator begins to suspect that Kamile is secretly the one in control instead of Raci Bey, and when they see each other for the last time he suspects Kamile is planning revenge on Mustafa and Zuhal for the attempted murder of her son Rahmi. The narrator shoots and kills her in order to prevent this, catching the narrative up to the flash forward chapters of the novel where he is sitting on a bench waiting to commit suicide by police.

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