The King of Taksim Square by Emrah Serbes and Mark David Wyers
Why I picked it up
This was offered as a Kindle First and I thought the premise sounded interesting. On a recent trip to Ukraine, I got the chance to visit the Maidan square in Kyiv, where a recent uprising took place, and while there I thought to myself, it would be interesting to read a novel set within a revolution like this, but not too politicized, just something with some characters trying to get along in such an environment. So when I saw The King of Taksim square I thought hey, someone actually wrote something that I thought of!
Story is based in the Arab Spring, with a young teen trying to help his sister get famous to boost her self-esteem. If you take out the random rants, the negative ways Caglar treats his mother, and his creepy obsessions with his sister, some parts of the novel are decent and enjoyable, a satire on modern culture, how we idolize people we love, and how everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. Gives a great glimpse into life in Turkey as well as the personable desire to want something more in life than what we are given. Also appreciated the father-son moments.
Everything as stated above: pages of random rants, his weird behavior towards his mother and other women in the story, no real explanation on why he hates his uncle so much, and jeez, Caglar, stop touching your sister when she’s sleeping!
At the end, the novel just kind of ends in a strange meandering way. At this point I would’ve preferred even a cliche ending of his sister actually becoming a Youtube star!
It was a frustrating read because I feel like the story had so much potential, and it almost reached it at some parts, but there was too much dragging it down at the end.