“Reckless” by Hasan Ali Toptas (Turkey)


From a classic plot-driven novel to an unusual collective ‘novel-essay,’ the four shortlisted books for this year’s Summer Reading Group varied greatly in structure, style of writing, and point of view. Our summer readers also noticed a recurrent theme in all four of dreams and their many meanings.

“Reckless” is largely set on the Turkish-Syrian border and tells the story of two friends who did their military service there. After a somewhat confusing beginning, readers agreed that it turned into quite a gripping story. They appreciated the contrast between the harshness of the narrator’s life and the gentleness of the descriptions of his friend’s village. They didn’t mind the varying chapter lengths, though they felt that the translation was of average quality. They were left feeling very confused by the ending.


Thirty years after completing his military service Ziya flees the spiralling turmoil of one of Turkey’s great sprawling cities to seek a serene existence in a village of which he has long heard dreamlike tales. Having endured two years of gruelling military life, taking brutal orders from a man hiding behind his rank… Read more

Nicola’s Summer Reading list 2016

“Sleeping on Jupiter” by Anuradha Roy (India) *
“Tram 83” by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo)
“The Story of My Teeth” by Valeria Luiselli (Mexico)
“Reckless” by Hasan Ali Toptas (Turkey)

* Best Summer Read
In italics, SRG’s Coup de Cœur

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