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Turkey Street: Jack and Liam move to Bodrum Paperback – May 18, 2015
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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.
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!
The 'crash, bang, wallop' of the prologue hooked me straight away. From there it was a laugh a minute with colourful characters parading in and out of every chapter and vivid descriptions of scenery, places and people like Jack and Liam's land lady, 'formidable and gutsy with a shock of silver running through a neat black bob'. Life in Bodrum went from high jinx to high angst when their friends' adopted daughter gets taken away from them for suspicion of child trafficking. It reads like fiction but as Mark Twain said, "Truth is stranger than fiction" and Jack Scott proves it on Turkey Street!