by Cemil Kavukcu

Translated by Dr. Mert Akcanbas

3-D Cover for Gamba

   "Gamba! That being with eyes 
    everywhere! There was no point
    in trying to run away!"



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Snippet from Book

How in the world did that dream get started again, as real and scary as it had been in his childhood? What resurrected Gamba? Booze or exhaustion? There must be another explanation.

He'd screamed, "Gamba!" Suddenly awake, he was unsure whether he' d screamed out loud or not. He seemed to forget he was in a sleeping bag, but instead he thought he was in a dark coffin tightly bound and shrouded. Perhaps that was part of the dream; he remembered seeing Gamba, but not how he got tied up so tightly. Perhaps one day he would be buried alive, perhaps Gamba would bury him.

Asim dropped off into a light sleep, awoke, and once again was confused about where he was. It was pitch dark. He grasped the fact that he was in a tent. Dripping with sweat, he unzipped the sleeping bag, pulled himself out on his elbows and sat up for a while. He unzipped the tent quietly so as not to wake up Turgay, and escaped the stifling heat inside. That must be the reason for the weird dreams and feeling of suffocation. The heat. It was true they spent a lot of energy, but he wasn't a young man anymore, and he knew he pushed himself too hard. He shouldn't try to keep up with the others. He inhaled deeply of the fresh night air. It was a calm, lazy, irresponsible summer night. He found the water container and drank his fill.

Was the dream an omen? Would the adventure he spent his whole life planning, so many years postponed, be called off altogether?

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About This Great Book

You wouldn't call him an old man, but he felt like one. Facing retirement, Asim Eray was stumped. How was he going to spend the rest of his life? Where had his youth gone? What had he achieved?

Escape—that's what'd he do. Escape his responsibilities and obligations, by taking a bike trip on the dusty roads of southern Turkey. Escape—no one would know exactly where he was. No cell phones allowed. Maybe down one of those roads, he'd run across something he'd lost along the way; some secret ingredient missing from his life; some bit of knowledge he used to know but had somehow forgotten.

Suddenly, a creature from his childhood reappears, not only in his dreams, but when he is wide awake. Gamba! A frightful character from his childhood nightmares is back—luring him into actual physical danger as well as a psychological abyss.


From A Review

Gamba is Turkish author Cemil Kavukcu's first novel to be translated into English. It takes place in three different settings: the main character's residence in Ankara, a geological research facility out in the wilderness, and on the back roads of archaeologically-rich southern Turkey.


From The Author

Gamba is the story of four men, who try to escape the boredom of their lives. Trapped in the mechanization of life in a big city, their idea is to run away, far away from the monotony of their professional lives and the confusion of their private lives.

It is a situation many people face. This is the story of how these men deal with it.

Cemil Kavukcu



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