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Turkey Street: Jack and Liam move to Bodrum Paperback – May 18, 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Cutting wit, giggles and sadness - Jack and Liam's dalliances with the expat world make for compelling reading. Julia Power, Turkey's for Life

Playful, witty and poignant. The characters practically leap off the page. One of the best non-fiction books of the year. Rainbow Book Awards, 2015

A beautifully presented tale that segues cleverly from hilarious and irreverent to heartbreakingly poignant. Kay McMahon, British Expat

Jack Scott expertly blends wit and humour in an accurate portrayal of daily Turkish life, warts and all! Natalie Sayin, the Turkish Travel Blog

Removes Turkey's headscarf and tousles the hair a little - with comical and touching consequences. I loved it. Jay Artale, author, the Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide

'One of the best non-fiction books of the year.' Rainbow Books Awards, 2015. 'A great rattlingly paced read which also provides a snapshot of a Turkey that is changing in ways none of us, as yet, fully understand.' Barbara Nadel, author. 'Removes Turkey's headscarf and tousles the hair a little - with comical and touching consequences. I loved it.' Jay Artale, author, the Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide. 'A beautifully presented tale that segues cleverly from hilarious and irreverent to heartbreakingly poignant.' Kay McMahon, British Expat. 'Jack Scott expertly blends wit and humour in an accurate portrayal of daily Turkish life, warts and all!' Natalie Sayin, the Turkish Travel Blog. 'Cutting wit, giggles and sadness - Jack and Liam's dalliances with the expat world make for compelling reading.' Julia Power, Turkey's for Life.

About the Author

Jack Scott was born on a British army base in Canterbury, England in 1960 and spent part of his childhood in Malaysia as a 'forces brat.' A fondness for men in uniforms quickly developed. At the age of eighteen and determined to dodge further education, he became a shop boy on London's trendy King's Road: 'Days on the tills and nights on the tiles were the best probation for a young gay man about town'. After two carefree years, Jack swapped sales for security and got a proper job with a pension attached. In his late forties, passionately dissatisfied with suburban life and middle management, he and his husband abandoned the sanctuary of liberal London for an uncertain future in Turkey. In 2010, Jack started an irreverent narrative about his new life and Perking the Pansies quickly became one of the most popular English language blogs in Turkey. Within a year, he had been featured in the Turkish national press, had published numerous essays and articles in expat and travel magazines and had contributed to the Huffington Post Union of Bloggers. As the blog developed a head of steam, a growing worldwide audience clamoured for a book. Jack duly obliged and his hilarious (well, he thinks so) memoir, 'Perking the Pansies, Jack and Liam move to Turkey' was published in 2011. Jack's critically acclaimed debut book won two Rainbow Book Awards, was shortlisted for the prestigious Polari First Book Prize and was featured in Time Out. The critical success of his debut book opened up a whole new career for Jack. He now works as a freelance writer and author. In 2012, Jack and Liam ended their Anatolian affair and paddled back to Britain on the evening tide. They currently live in Norwich, a surprising cathedral city in eastern England.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Springtime Books (May 18, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 099323772X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0993237720
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,087,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Turkey Street, by Jack Scott is at once a charming travel memoir and a smart, sassy commentary on how a small community of expatriates -- including a British gay couple -- get along each day in foreign lands such as Turkey, where the book takes place.

Jack and Liam have gone to the tiny town of Bodrun along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts on an extended holiday from the dank fogs of London. This is the story of the outrageous people they meet and the oftentimes funny, sometimes poignant, situations in which they find themselves.

Seen primarily through the eyes of Jack, the neighborhood comes alive with warmth and hospitality at their arrival. Their Turkish landlady, Beril, seems to think that by fixing them any one of two dozen Turkish dishes, she can put a bad mood or situation instantly better. Her efforts are met with long-suffering patience by Jack and Liam, whose domestic devotion -- if not always bliss -- shines through the entire narrative.

We meet many characters of note. There's Sophia, a one-time aspiring film star, but now "a resolutely single, well-appointed Turkish widow with dazzling white hair fashioned into a bun and a heart in a million pieces" even years after the death of her diplomat husband.

There's Sean, Liam's severely handicapped younger brother, whose "overfriendly' demeanor makes him many friends. Liam is fiercely protective of him, even after thirty years, and agonizes when he must finally put him in a home when their mother can no longer care for him.

"Liam helped Sean from his wheelchair and the two brothers sat side by side on the small bed, hands held, sensing the overwhelming inevitability of a situation neither of them could change.
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Format: Paperback
After meeting the crazy inhabitants of Bodrum town and reading through to the last poignant moments in Turkey Street, it was really hard to come to the end of this tale and return to normal life. Scott’s portrayal of his life with partner Liam had me longing to sit in the garden with them, drinking wine and eating meze, swapping jokes and creating memories.
Despite having come from the big city bustle of London, Jack and Liam easily adapt to the sunnier shores of the Aegean. Not content to take a wait-and-see approach to getting to know the locals, they dive straight into the social scene, dancing with divas and overfriendly hirsute manga, while upsetting the more staid expat residents who get by on a fixed income and a very stiff British upper lip. Being the only gays in the Bodrum village quickly sees them the talk of the town, and Jack makes good use of the opportunity to mingle with expat women effected by both the Turkish heat and the men. His portraits of women no longer young, led astray by rampant hormones and sex galore are engaging rather than embarrassing, and acknowledge the realities behind the tabloid exposés.
Scott even manages to touch on the tricky subject of living in a foreign country, with a lifestyle you can’t get back home, while still pining for what you’ve left behind. It isn’t always an easy choice to make. It requires sacrifice and for most of us, no matter how much we enjoy living in Turkey, time not spent with family is a major sore point. The idea of family is an underlying theme in this book albeit subtly touched upon. In his description of the people he calls friends, Scott shows the way people who choose to live in another country also form relationships as strong as, if not stronger than those based on blood ties.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thank you to Jack and Liam for taking me on my Turkish adventure. For my review, I offer some North American perspective.

Us US Americans are notoriously badly traveled--I've been fortunate to travel some, but let's be honest the majority of us barely get to Canada or Mexico, let alone the Middle East. To most here, Turkey sounds like a distant kingdom of magic and mystery. Part thrilling, part terrifying! My limited experience in the Middle East was wonderful, so I was excited to read "Turkey Street" and gain insight into life there as an expat and LGBT.

In this the second book of their adventures, the newness and novelty of the gay couple's move has worn off. The Emigreys (old expats) and VOMITs (victims of men in Turkey) are up to their old tricks, and our protagonists grapple with how to continue evolving while Ataturk's homeland faces some complicated challenges as a rising economic power on the edge of Europe with a proud Islamic tradition.

There's lots of wit and unique turns of phrase I found myself highlighting in the Kindle reader. ***HOWEVER*** warning this book is very very British! Not like Simon Cowell and JK Rowling British, more like Henry VIII and Katie Price British i.e. unless you have some exposure to British culture and history you'll be making solid use of the handy glossary in the back Jack Scott kindly wrote for North American readers wondering what's "blankety blank" and who's "Vicky Pollard."

In the end, "Turkey Street" is a great read, and I learned about both Turkish AND British culture. Now please excuse me while I apply my slapper red lipstick and groove to the "Best of Zeki Muren" on my iTunes!
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