Jack and Liam move to Bodrum
Readers of Jack Scott’s début book, Perking the Pansies, would be forgiven for wondering what happened to our intrepid hero Jack and his husband Liam next – given the challenges inherent in moving to a country that’s officially secular but actually over 90% Muslim. This follow-up, Turkey Street, ends the wondering. And it does it in fine style, showing all the panache and keen observation of humankind of Perking the Pansies.
The story picks up six months into the couple’s sojourn in Turkey, initially spent in a small village just a few miles from Bodrum. A perfidious landlord’s shenanigans causes them to move into the centre of town, where—against the odds, as Jack himself says—they’re welcomed by locals and expats…or some of them, at least.
Then things change. An election brings the Muslim AKP party to power, and the signs are that Turkey’s 80-plus years of secularism are about to be abandoned. Time for Jack and Liam to up sticks? Well, without giving too much away, the change of government does have an impact on their lifestyle—but the real impulse for them to consider their future in Turkey comes from quite a different quarter.
There’s plenty of caustic wit in Turkey Street, as there was in Perking the Pansies. Jack has no time for narrow-minded, self-seeking or obnoxious behaviour, and he lampoons the perpetrators mercilessly. In fairness, he’s more than willing to laugh at himself too. Self-pity doesn’t get a look-in.
There’s pathos again, too. But Jack skilfully steers the right side of the fine line between heartwarming and schmaltzy.
All in all, Turkey Street is a solid follow-up to what was a strong debut. If you haven’t read Perking the Pansies yet, then my advice is: buy it, read it, and then buy and read Turkey Street. You’ll get a fast-moving, fascinating and uproarious insight into some of the more off-beat aspects of expat living – and of Turkey.
You can read more about Jack in our interview with him here!
Take Five – Jack Scott, author
Paperback, 348 pages
2015, Springtime Books