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Turkey Street: Jack and Liam move to Bodrum Paperback – May 18, 2015
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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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Top Customer Reviews
Like the first book, this one is a tasty Turkish delight, a mad dervish of colorful characters, and a love song to an adopted country. The main difference I find in these pages is a more tangible undercurrent of sadness and the inevitability of kismet’s farewell kiss. The bitter-sweet texture is what gives this sequel its uniqueness, much as the first one is rare for its witty narrative and remarkable characters.
Happiness is often defined by its opposite. In TURKEY STREET Scott gives us a symbolic olive tree dedicated to a fallen lover, an orphan lost in a brutal system, and broken family members who pull the heart strings back to England.
Both Jack (the narrator) and Liam (his husband) have the kind of breezy wit that keeps the story moving with grace and style. Author Scott has the rare ability to speak volumes with a few well chosen words and tongue-in-cheek innuendo. Being a student of language, I appreciate the glossaries at the end—street Turkish and even Brit-speak with more than a little Polari thrown into the mix.
If there be a narrative flaw, it would be the occasional lapse of point of view, where we see a brief scene through the eyes and mind of a character other than Jack. Picky, picky. By and large, I feasted on this story…a lavish banquet of language, a delicious taste of understated love.
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.
If you’ve been to Bodrum or another Turkish seaside resort on holiday and now you’re looking for a step-by-step guide to help you move here, Jack Scott’s book Turkey Street isn’t for you. As the author points out, Bodrum isn’t Turkey. However, if you’re after a rollicking good laugh occasionally sobered up by a sprinkling of home truths about what it’s like to be an expat in Turkey, this is a must read.
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."
We meet Nancy, whose faithless love for a sea captain outweighs her good sense. "Nancy's pneumatic chest heaved and her heart pounded expectantly, like a virgin on her wedding night."
And, we meet Grit, the innkeeper of a one-star establishment called the Otel Latmos. "There was no disguising it. Grit was a bit of a gorilla. Six feet and more in her cross-hikers, she had the lumbering gait of a silverback."
Ultimately, however, this is a tale about Jack and Liam's devotion to each other and how they weather the ups and downs common to any relationship, and his deft treatment of the story -- told with humor and grace -- speaks volumes for how much they care for one another.
Overall, I found the book to be well-written and insightful -- particularly on the subject of Turkey and its status in the world community. I give Turkey Street an unqualified five stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The 'crash, bang, wallop' of the prologue hooked me straight away.Read more