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Jack and Liam, fed up with kiss-my-arse bosses and nose-to-nipple commutes, quit their jobs and move to a small town in Turkey. Join the culture-curious gay couple on their bumpy rite of passage in a Muslim country. Meet the oddballs, VOMITs, vetpats, emigreys, semigreys, debauched waiters and middle England miseries.When bigotry and ignorance emerge from the crude underbe Jack and Liam, fed up with kiss-my-arse bosses and nose-to-nipple commutes, quit their jobs and move to a small town in Turkey. Join the culture-curious gay couple on their bumpy rite of passage in a Muslim country. Meet the oddballs, VOMITs, vetpats, emigreys, semigreys, debauched waiters and middle England miseries.When bigotry and ignorance emerge from the crude underbelly of Turkey's expat life, Jack and Liam waver. Determined to stay the course, the happy hedonistas hitch up their skirts, move to the heart of liberal Bodrum and fall in love with their intoxicating foster land. Enter Jack's irreverent world for a right royal dose of misery and joy, bigotry and enlightenment, betrayal and loyalty, friendship, love, earthquakes, birth, adoption and a senseless murder. Perking the Pansies will make you laugh out loud one minute and sob into your crumpled tissue the next."Scott pulls no punches. A good read and hopefully the first of many by new boy on the block." Jane Akatay, journalist"An insightful tale of life abroad - with a twist - from the pen of a serial people watcher. Expat Jack lays his characters bare along with his heart and soul, ''Kym Ciftci, On the Ege Magazine, Ontheege.com"Jack and Liam bring a certain je ne sais quoi to the souks and heap a plate of dry British wit to their Ottoman misadventures,"Charles Ayres, author, Impossibly Glamorous Impossiblyglamorous.com..". hilarious, saucy, witty, heartwarming and incredibly moving, Perking the Pansies is chock full of odd characters and odder situations. Jack Scott has a way with words and proves that it is the relationships we surround ourselves with that matter most,"Linda A Janssens, Writer and Co-Author, Turning Points, Adventuresinexpatland.com


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Jack and Liam, fed up with kiss-my-arse bosses and nose-to-nipple commutes, quit their jobs and move to a small town in Turkey. Join the culture-curious gay couple on their bumpy rite of passage in a Muslim country. Meet the oddballs, VOMITs, vetpats, emigreys, semigreys, debauched waiters and middle England miseries.When bigotry and ignorance emerge from the crude underbe Jack and Liam, fed up with kiss-my-arse bosses and nose-to-nipple commutes, quit their jobs and move to a small town in Turkey. Join the culture-curious gay couple on their bumpy rite of passage in a Muslim country. Meet the oddballs, VOMITs, vetpats, emigreys, semigreys, debauched waiters and middle England miseries.When bigotry and ignorance emerge from the crude underbelly of Turkey's expat life, Jack and Liam waver. Determined to stay the course, the happy hedonistas hitch up their skirts, move to the heart of liberal Bodrum and fall in love with their intoxicating foster land. Enter Jack's irreverent world for a right royal dose of misery and joy, bigotry and enlightenment, betrayal and loyalty, friendship, love, earthquakes, birth, adoption and a senseless murder. Perking the Pansies will make you laugh out loud one minute and sob into your crumpled tissue the next."Scott pulls no punches. A good read and hopefully the first of many by new boy on the block." Jane Akatay, journalist"An insightful tale of life abroad - with a twist - from the pen of a serial people watcher. Expat Jack lays his characters bare along with his heart and soul, ''Kym Ciftci, On the Ege Magazine, Ontheege.com"Jack and Liam bring a certain je ne sais quoi to the souks and heap a plate of dry British wit to their Ottoman misadventures,"Charles Ayres, author, Impossibly Glamorous Impossiblyglamorous.com..". hilarious, saucy, witty, heartwarming and incredibly moving, Perking the Pansies is chock full of odd characters and odder situations. Jack Scott has a way with words and proves that it is the relationships we surround ourselves with that matter most,"Linda A Janssens, Writer and Co-Author, Turning Points, Adventuresinexpatland.com

30 review for Perking the Pansies - Jack and Liam move to Turkey

  1. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Critchley

    Absolutely delightful. I really enjoyed Perking the Pansies with its unique perspective and take on expat life in Turkey. The book is beautifully written and highly engaging - often humorous and, at times, genuinely touching. My only minor gripe was that, other than the central characters Jack and Liam, whose relationship is wonderfully captured both in terms of the clear love between them as well as well as its foibles and frailties, some of the characterisation is a tad 'Heroes and Villains' t Absolutely delightful. I really enjoyed Perking the Pansies with its unique perspective and take on expat life in Turkey. The book is beautifully written and highly engaging - often humorous and, at times, genuinely touching. My only minor gripe was that, other than the central characters Jack and Liam, whose relationship is wonderfully captured both in terms of the clear love between them as well as well as its foibles and frailties, some of the characterisation is a tad 'Heroes and Villains' two dimensional. However, that minor gripe aside, I would highly recommend the book and will certainly be going in search of further work from Jack Scott.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hilary Fullberry

    This book rather surprised me and I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did (it was recommended to me by a friend who holidays in Turkey). It starts with the writer and his partner selling up and moving to Turkey and describes the people (mainly English) they meet when they arrive. Fine. Turkey is the backdrop to the story, and a gay couple in a Muslim country is an interesting context, but what saved this book for me was that it didn't fall into the trap of so many moving abroad books. It This book rather surprised me and I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did (it was recommended to me by a friend who holidays in Turkey). It starts with the writer and his partner selling up and moving to Turkey and describes the people (mainly English) they meet when they arrive. Fine. Turkey is the backdrop to the story, and a gay couple in a Muslim country is an interesting context, but what saved this book for me was that it didn't fall into the trap of so many moving abroad books. It doesn’t drone on about the countryside and picking fruit in orchards etc (a genre that’s been done to death in my opinion) nor does it overdress the story in a rose-coloured view of Turkish culture etc. Sure, I really enjoyed the Peter Mayle Provence books and found the Chris Stewart series entertaining, but we don’t really need any more in my humble opinion. This book is more about how they cope with the expat community they get sucked into, and I found the honesty and satirical writing quite refreshing and really funny. It’s a kind of grown up and better written version of Benidorm through the eyes of a gay Londoner. I think what impressed me most was the tautness of the writing and the plot and that's something a lot of travel memoirs fail to deliver. I didn't have time to get bored, Maybe it was all a bit too fast in places. Without me realising it, as the story unfolded I got gently drawn in. Again, unlike many living abroad books, this one has an interesting story and it’s put together with some skill. The book is peppered with references to the writer's family and there are some touching references to an ex lover, including a sensitively handled scene in a cemetery. There are other themes interwoven into the book, including an adoption which goes horribly wrong (I did find it frustrating to not have this concluded by the end of the book) and a rather disturbing murder. Along the way, there are some really funny moments (check out the description of France in the opening chapters!). The ending is great. It may not be War and Peace but I don’t understand other comments about the book lacking a cohesive story. If anything, I would slow the story down a little. At the end of the book, there’s a glossary of Turkish phrases, a nice touch (I’ve already memorised a few) and there’s also a breakdown of expat types which I think would translate to most countries. All in all, it’s difficult to categorize this book. I wouldn’t say it’s about being a homosexual or being in Turkey, although both of those feature. It’s just a really funny and well put together account of trying life in a different country. I’m more curious about Turkey now and would consider a visit (armed with my elementary Turkish!). It’s full on satire and maybe not everyone will get that or like that style, but having read many many books in this genre, this stands out for all the right reasons. I read it in two days and was disappointed when it came to an end, and that says it all really. I gather the writer writes a blog. I’m afraid I’m not a lover of blogs at all and I hope he concentrates his efforts instead on writing more books. It’s nice to see someone writing with a unique style in the travel genre.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    Jack Scott must be sitting on a goldmine. For apparently Perking the Pansies is his first book. I'm guessing he must have kept some diaries in the 20+years he spent in social care before relocating with husband Liam to Turkey. Scott's definitely got an eye for the poetic. Here he is, describing seeing his future hometown for the first time: "As we breached the brow of the hill, we caught our first picture postcard glimpse of Yalikavak shimmering at the end of a lush valley below like randomly sca Jack Scott must be sitting on a goldmine. For apparently Perking the Pansies is his first book. I'm guessing he must have kept some diaries in the 20+years he spent in social care before relocating with husband Liam to Turkey. Scott's definitely got an eye for the poetic. Here he is, describing seeing his future hometown for the first time: "As we breached the brow of the hill, we caught our first picture postcard glimpse of Yalikavak shimmering at the end of a lush valley below like randomly scattered sugar cubes on an overgrown lawn." E17, where the couple relocated from, it ain't. There follows tales of expatlandia. Some of them comic, the characterization of some of the lower life almost Dickensian in detail.The rest tragic, including stories of abduction and, even, murder. Jack and Liam play the expat game in Yalikavak. But by their own rules. Later, they immerse themselves in a more going-native-style adventure by upping sticks and moving to the largely expat-free Bodrum. Born out of the blog of the same name,Perking the Pansies is an accessible read. Engaging in tone, it's like Scott's perpetually dipping into his wallet to buy the next round. Now how about those diaries, Jack?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Backtobodrum

    A funny, perceptive take on Turkey. You'll enjoy this book even if you have never set foot in the country. If you have, get set for several hours of joy. My only complaint is that the sequel isn't out yet and I'm wanting more of Jack Scott's astute observations.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Linda A Janssen

    Many may dream of leaving the rat race behind for a new life in an exotic locale, but it is the rare few that actually follow through. When gay couple Jack and Liam choose breathtakingly beautiful Muslim Turkey in which to make their fantasy life of leisure come true, you know you're in for an exciting ride. At turns hilarious, saucy, witty, heartwarming and incredibly moving, Perking the Pansies (pun fully intended) is chock full of odd characters and odder situations. Jack Scott has a way with Many may dream of leaving the rat race behind for a new life in an exotic locale, but it is the rare few that actually follow through. When gay couple Jack and Liam choose breathtakingly beautiful Muslim Turkey in which to make their fantasy life of leisure come true, you know you're in for an exciting ride. At turns hilarious, saucy, witty, heartwarming and incredibly moving, Perking the Pansies (pun fully intended) is chock full of odd characters and odder situations. Jack Scott has a way with words, deftly weaving images and accurately capturing the idiosyncrasies and foibles of this all too human lot. In doing so, he pulls back the curtain on prejudice and acceptance, the underlying thrills, frustrations and challenges that come with living in a different culture, and the conflicting emotions that tug at expatriates enjoying life far from family members and cherished friends. In the end, Jack proves that it is the relationships we surround ourselves with that matter most. All in all, a terrific read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lou Kief

    A Must Read for anyone considering living outside the box they were born in! Jack Scott did it. He managed to bring the “expat experience” to life. I’ve been one for over a decade and can say with all honestly: Anyone who wants to feel what it’s like to live outside your home country, culture and native language couldn’t find a more accurate and hilarious description. I applaud your courage to tell it like it really is and stand in awe of your ability to bring both Turks and their culture into th A Must Read for anyone considering living outside the box they were born in! Jack Scott did it. He managed to bring the “expat experience” to life. I’ve been one for over a decade and can say with all honestly: Anyone who wants to feel what it’s like to live outside your home country, culture and native language couldn’t find a more accurate and hilarious description. I applaud your courage to tell it like it really is and stand in awe of your ability to bring both Turks and their culture into the light of day. You magically bring to life the confusing and oh-so-quirky personalities of people who populate the often embarrassing world of expats. My sides still hurt from laughing. Kudos on writing a beautiful, tender and truly funny book that I can’t wait to read again.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Nayper

    I read the Kindle version, was impressed, so bought the paperback, which is what I tend to do if a book grabs me. Fast, funny and in places very touching. It's quite biting in places but I like this kind of writing; crisp, fast-moving and without too much fill-in. The relationship between the two main characters is touching and helps the book's balance. I've never lived abroad, so couldn't identify with everything (and I'm not sure Turkey would be my first choice) but the book kept my attention I read the Kindle version, was impressed, so bought the paperback, which is what I tend to do if a book grabs me. Fast, funny and in places very touching. It's quite biting in places but I like this kind of writing; crisp, fast-moving and without too much fill-in. The relationship between the two main characters is touching and helps the book's balance. I've never lived abroad, so couldn't identify with everything (and I'm not sure Turkey would be my first choice) but the book kept my attention throughout.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Evelyn

    Jack's memoir of his an Liam's move to Turkey is a fantastic read. He captured the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with an international move beautifully. His descriptions of his fellow expats were vivid and funny, yet he didn't overlook the darker side of their personalities, their relationships and their lives. Expat or not, I'd recommend you read it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Terry

    Excellent. Witty! Fast read - true stories that read like fiction!

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Gee

    Jack and Liam, two forty-something Londoners - "a pair of poofy pioneers in the Wild East" - moved to Turkey a few years ago, wondering how well their in-your-face lifestyle would go down in a Muslim country. Well, it went down pretty well. Maybe it helps that, as Jack observes, Turkey is a land where "sexual ambiguity was an art form." Unlike the majority of gay ex-pats, Jack and Liam are there for each other, not to carve a swathe through the beguiling natives. In their beach-side village they Jack and Liam, two forty-something Londoners - "a pair of poofy pioneers in the Wild East" - moved to Turkey a few years ago, wondering how well their in-your-face lifestyle would go down in a Muslim country. Well, it went down pretty well. Maybe it helps that, as Jack observes, Turkey is a land where "sexual ambiguity was an art form." Unlike the majority of gay ex-pats, Jack and Liam are there for each other, not to carve a swathe through the beguiling natives. In their beach-side village they have to socialize with their fellow exiles: mismatched couples and a few unhappy singletons. As I discovered when I lived in the Persian Gulf, it's odd how some of the most bigoted of Brits choose to live or work in a land peopled by people they look down on. Jack and Liam's "live and let live" philosophy does not infect their neighbours. They move to a dinky old stone cottage in the heart of Old Bodrum which feels more like the real Turkey (a bit less so today, I'm pretty sure). The repartee between Jack and Liam is rather reminiscent of Round the Horne's Julian and ('my friend') Sandy. Mr Scott has a nice way with a metaphor. An elderly closet-queen is "mincing through Narnia." In winter their Anatolian retreat is "an igloo with a view." But they get through arctic cold, blistering summers, infestations of flies and cockroaches, money worries and family health problems back in Blighty. The perils of adopting a Turkish baby for two of their friends seem greater than those of being a gay couple, but maybe not: a gay barman they are fond of is savagely murdered. Safely ensconsed back in the UK (as are Jack and Liam), I enjoy reading about other people's experiences of post-colonial life in places where most ex-pats still behave like old colonials. Perking the Pansies is a delicious addition to the tradition which, for me, began with Gerald Durrell.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lenora

    I loved this book, I don't know where time went when I was reading it! I knew that the book had been written off the back of a blog and I was curious to see how the blog format would transfer into a novel or whether it would seem like a disjointed series of posts. I was not disappointed, Jack's sparkling prose, and fast paced style was treat to read. Where he really excelled, was in drawing acidic pen portraits of the oddballs, bigots and grotesques inhabiting the expat bubble, I laughed so much I loved this book, I don't know where time went when I was reading it! I knew that the book had been written off the back of a blog and I was curious to see how the blog format would transfer into a novel or whether it would seem like a disjointed series of posts. I was not disappointed, Jack's sparkling prose, and fast paced style was treat to read. Where he really excelled, was in drawing acidic pen portraits of the oddballs, bigots and grotesques inhabiting the expat bubble, I laughed so much and could almost see these people (I think anyone who has travelled will recognise more than a few of them - just hope you don't see yourself in any of those portraits!). Perking the Pansies is not just a hilarious swipe at Daily Mail readers abroad, it also presents some genuinely warm and affectionate portraits of those that Jack and Liam became close too. Their respect for both the Turkey and the Turkish people also shines through. In places it was very moving, yet any mawkish sentimentality was deftly avoided by a wry comment or amusingly acerbic put down in just the right place. At times the novel seems to coast along on the effervescent surface of things, despite breaking out of the ex-pat bubble and finding more like-minded emigrays and locals to befriend, it seemed initially that some of the deeper conflicts of being homosexual in a very traditional country might be glossed over. However this was not the case and Jack did meditate on the contradictions of the ambiguity of sexuality in Turkey and the consequences of being to openly gay. This is not a deep or profound book - it's not trying to be. It's a wonderfully good read - funny, acerbic, generous, moving and highly entertaining and I loved the expat glossary at the back - it could easily be the basis of an ethnographic study of Brits (and others) abroad! I can't wait for more from this very witty writer.

  12. 5 out of 5

    McKerley & Schippers

    Diamonds are no longer a girl’s best friend. After reading Perking the Pansies, I now know for sure it’s gay men. Sort of learned this earlier in life when I was living in Greece in the eighties, working as a tour leader, blonde, 20 and single. To escape the relentless “kamaki” of the Greek men, I would spend much of my time with male, mostly gay, colleges from the tourist industry and as a direct result, mostly in gay bars. In many of them I was the only woman, except for the one time when I got Diamonds are no longer a girl’s best friend. After reading Perking the Pansies, I now know for sure it’s gay men. Sort of learned this earlier in life when I was living in Greece in the eighties, working as a tour leader, blonde, 20 and single. To escape the relentless “kamaki” of the Greek men, I would spend much of my time with male, mostly gay, colleges from the tourist industry and as a direct result, mostly in gay bars. In many of them I was the only woman, except for the one time when I got offered a drink by a female american tourleader, whom I thought was there for the same reason as I was. My gay friends slapped their knees and couldnt stop laughing and yet it was the most loving protective mockery. For gay guys know a lot about women. They understand why she says something else than she thinks. What makes gay men 'different' is that they are often more observant, with an eye for a wide range of emotions ranging from suffering to humor (or a combination of the two) Its this pleasure, I got out of reading "perking the pansies". It’s vulnerable, hilarious, insightful and made me feel at home to an extend where I felt I was on a holiday in Turkey staying with Jack and Liam. Even the goodbye at the end of the book was tearful, for I could have read another volume of their adventures and stay on longer. A unique book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Magi

    Having discovered Jack Scott’s ‘Perking the Pansies’ blog through a friend, I fast became an avid fan of his vivacious vocabulary, and wonderfully wicked sense of humour. So, when news of a book came out, it was quickly added to my ‘must have’ list for this year’s winter reading. Perking the Pansies is like looking at life on the Bodrum Peninsula through the lens of an extremely candid camera. If you pick up the book expecting yet another tale of ‘fun in the sun’ from an expat point of view, the Having discovered Jack Scott’s ‘Perking the Pansies’ blog through a friend, I fast became an avid fan of his vivacious vocabulary, and wonderfully wicked sense of humour. So, when news of a book came out, it was quickly added to my ‘must have’ list for this year’s winter reading. Perking the Pansies is like looking at life on the Bodrum Peninsula through the lens of an extremely candid camera. If you pick up the book expecting yet another tale of ‘fun in the sun’ from an expat point of view, then you’ll be wrong. What you get is a laugh out loud narrative of a couple committed to each other, and others they meet along the way that maybe should have just been committed. Even though the names are different, from the old school Clement (who headed for the hills), to Tarıq of the ‘new teeth, there are people among the paragraphs that expats the world over will swear they have met before. The ‘almost adoption’ of Adalet will have those hard of heart reaching for the tissue box. From beginning to end, the desire to find out what happens next has you turning the pages at breakneck speed, much the same pace as the story moves itself. I can’t wait for the next installment...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jae

    Perking the Pansies was my companion on a long and boring journey and boy did it perk me up! Loved the writing - easy flow and sharp, witty turns of phrase - and the story had me rivetted from the start. I enjoyed especially the way in which the author opened up the Turkish culture for us to see in to its morals, mores and quirks. Richly painted and stylishly rendered. My heart went out to these two guys doing battle with the locals and it was cheering to witness their victories, large and small, Perking the Pansies was my companion on a long and boring journey and boy did it perk me up! Loved the writing - easy flow and sharp, witty turns of phrase - and the story had me rivetted from the start. I enjoyed especially the way in which the author opened up the Turkish culture for us to see in to its morals, mores and quirks. Richly painted and stylishly rendered. My heart went out to these two guys doing battle with the locals and it was cheering to witness their victories, large and small, in a world which they surely knew would be potentially hostile to their gay-ness. How lovely to discover that at times it was precisely those locals who came to their rescue. The exploits of the other expats had me reaching for a tissue to wipe away the laughter tears - being admitted to the inner sanctum of expatland was delicious! How brave and how exciting to have plumped for such an adventure over quiet retirement - don't we all wish we had the gumption to do something bonkers?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay Feliz

    This book will appeal to all types of people. Lovers of Turkey will enjoy the colourful description of the place and the people; gay men will empathise with the experiences and the feelings expressed; expats will smile and nod their heads sagely at the description of other expats and the description of the highs and lows of expatriate life. Perking the pansies is an easy read, very descriptive, it will make you smile in places and bring a tear to your eyes in others. It is an accurate descriptio This book will appeal to all types of people. Lovers of Turkey will enjoy the colourful description of the place and the people; gay men will empathise with the experiences and the feelings expressed; expats will smile and nod their heads sagely at the description of other expats and the description of the highs and lows of expatriate life. Perking the pansies is an easy read, very descriptive, it will make you smile in places and bring a tear to your eyes in others. It is an accurate description of the culture shock experienced by most ex pats, when the dream becomes reality and the hassles and challenges of living overseas in a different culture, with a different language kick in. I enjoyed this book, and it made me, as a fellow expat realise that I was not alone in my experiences and feelings.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karen Adams

    Perking the Pansies is wicked, witty and warm story of Jack and Liam's adventure making their home in Turkey. Their curiosity about their new friends, foes and neighbours made me laugh and cry. This book should be essential reading for anyone, gay or straight, considering the leap into expat life.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Really glad to have won this in a Goodreads giveaway. It took me a long time to read because I read it in between other books. I enjoyed it but wouldn't call it a compelling narrative, more a book to dip into when your in the mood.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kym Ciftci

    I love this book and it's one I have read more than once. Jacks a real character with a wonderfully witty writing style. His comic timing is excellent and he is equally as brilliant at the dramatic stuff. I do believe this will become a classic.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Elisa Rolle

    2012 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barndoor

    After hearing about the blog I thought I would give the book a go. Firstly I have to point out that being a gay man who has visited Turkey on numerous occasions I was intrigued to find out what kind of social obstacles a gay couple would have while relocating to a Muslim country. Seeing as this was the book description I paid my money and what I read was far from what I expected. There was no story, just a collection of character assassinations and gay clichés. The book really lacked any depth, After hearing about the blog I thought I would give the book a go. Firstly I have to point out that being a gay man who has visited Turkey on numerous occasions I was intrigued to find out what kind of social obstacles a gay couple would have while relocating to a Muslim country. Seeing as this was the book description I paid my money and what I read was far from what I expected. There was no story, just a collection of character assassinations and gay clichés. The book really lacked any depth, there was no real introduction to the country, and if it wasn’t for the fact that I have visited Turkey many times I doubt that I would see the connection. Just because the title says: ‘Jack and Liam move to Turkey’ it doesn’t really come across as such, it may as well have said ‘Jack and Liam make a sandwich’ which I am sure they did at some point, but like their move to Turkey the reader will never experience it. I found the book to be typically British and blinkered. The whole going abroad to live and not learning the language opposed to remaining in Blighty and complain about the immigrants not learning English, for me was the whole theme of the book. Rat race or extended holiday? I would take the extended holiday and go to places and learn different cultures and languages, Jack and Liam, however, would rather sit in bars and restaurants and be two faced to their fellow expats. Considering this was to be a true story of their adventure I can honestly say that there was no real adventure, just a couple of frustrated gay men trying to make a big deal out of nothing. On the plus side there are some witty moments and it is easy to read, but reaching that last page it’s all a bit of an anticlimax I'm afraid.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Becky Sherriff

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is the first time I have read any of this author's work and I love his writing style. The narrative flowed really well making it easy to read and I was completely engaged throughout. This is the kind of book you could pick up over and over again if you need a good cheering up. Jack and Liam decide to leave their ordinary, mundane lives to emigrate to Turkey. A challenge in itself but add to that the fact they are a gay married couple moving to a Muslim count I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This is the first time I have read any of this author's work and I love his writing style. The narrative flowed really well making it easy to read and I was completely engaged throughout. This is the kind of book you could pick up over and over again if you need a good cheering up. Jack and Liam decide to leave their ordinary, mundane lives to emigrate to Turkey. A challenge in itself but add to that the fact they are a gay married couple moving to a Muslim country. Jack and Liam are such a loveable and quirky couple, I was hoping everything would be absolutely perfect for them once they moved but they have calamity after calamity, some parts of this book are hilarious and other parts are warm and touching. I love Jack's nicknames for the different people he meets and his sense of humour. I absolutely love Jack and Liam's relationship and it was beautifully written about, the relationship is as solid as could be and there are parts which brought a tear to my eye. I also particularly enjoyed the descriptions of the country and having never visited Turkey found it a country I would like to visit one day. I also found this book insightful and if the reader was considering emigrating to Turkey then this book would be a good way of learning more about the country and what it would be like to live there. I would probably suggest not following Jack and Liam's actions but they all add to the quirkiness of the story. I hope the story is followed with a sequel soon as I am eager to follow Jack and Liam's story. A strong 4 stars from me. Becky Sherriff (The Kindle Book Review)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I simply loved this book from the first page - but then, I pretty much knew the story, as I have been reading Jack's blogs now for the past year or so. It is warm and humorous (and often making a serious point - for example, on gay marriage). Most of all, Jack's blog of the same name (Perking the Pansies) and this book paint a wonderful picture of two openly gay British men who decided to move to Turkey, and their experiences with the "ex-pat" community and with the Turks in a delightfully perso I simply loved this book from the first page - but then, I pretty much knew the story, as I have been reading Jack's blogs now for the past year or so. It is warm and humorous (and often making a serious point - for example, on gay marriage). Most of all, Jack's blog of the same name (Perking the Pansies) and this book paint a wonderful picture of two openly gay British men who decided to move to Turkey, and their experiences with the "ex-pat" community and with the Turks in a delightfully personal way that I could in many ways relate to (although I am a heterosexual woman!). Although they make gentle fun of Turkish life and some of the amusing local characters they meet, it is written with a great respect for and appreciation of Turkish culture and history (it certainly made me want to visit Turkey!) What I found particularly interesting was the sexual ambivalence of Turkish society and the complexities of relationships. It actually made me feel quite sad - and one incident in particular reminded me of what happens with frightening regularity in the country I live in, Jamaica. Altogether it is very funny and insightful. And the descriptions of the wild world of the expats and its inhabitants are quite hilarious.

  23. 5 out of 5

    louise kilic

    Brutality honest and absolutely gripping; finished in two sittings A vibrant, truthful and detailed account of jack and Liam's introduction into the colourful life of an expat living in Turkey. Emotional, comical but perhaps most importantly, completely relatable; thoroughly enjoyed reading Perking the Pansies and found it difficult to put down.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Maggie Myklebust

    Jack Scott has a genuine gift for comic writing.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    Really enjoyed this book as I live in Turkey not far from bodrum so can relate to the places and some of there experiences. Shame they are now back in the UK full time :(

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jane Thomson

    I liked it. I've been to Turkey and really liked the people and country. The book was funny, sad, sophisticated, and the writers are likeable and sweet and grounded.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Robert Henderson

    A lot of fun, surprisingly moving at times, and great to see some ex pats dish on ex pats.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Morrow

    Perking the Pansies by Jack Scott tells the tale of Jack and Liam, a gay couple, who move from a thriving metropolis to a small Aegean town in Turkey, expecting to find a satisfying social whirl, albeit with better weather. Instead they face the dilemma of any expat – a small community which expects everyone to instantly bond based on shared language and booze consumption. What they find is a mixed community of tragi-comic characters determined to take them under their collective wing. Crusty wou Perking the Pansies by Jack Scott tells the tale of Jack and Liam, a gay couple, who move from a thriving metropolis to a small Aegean town in Turkey, expecting to find a satisfying social whirl, albeit with better weather. Instead they face the dilemma of any expat – a small community which expects everyone to instantly bond based on shared language and booze consumption. What they find is a mixed community of tragi-comic characters determined to take them under their collective wing. Crusty would-be English gents who bemoan the setting of the sun on the long lost Empire the lower the level in their glass becomes. Failed retirees whose pensions no longer provide them with the standard of living to which they’d aspired. Expats whose bodies reside in Turkey but whose thoughts and customs remain firmly rooted in mother England. Women of a certain age who copy Brittany Spears’s schoolgirl phase when choosing their clothes and engage in unsuitable romances with local Turkish men. And other women who have learned from the latter and now engage in a more fulfilling romance with life in Turkey, with all it has to offer. Turn the pages of this witty and engaging memoir and discover how in a short space of time, Jack in particular manages to alienate or offend almost all of the people in these groups, but as the months pass, his and Liam’s openness to difference helps them forge close friendships with some. If your life is like the one Jack and Liam used to lead, and you’re caught up in the crush of long gruelling hours at work and depressed by the particularly grey hue of Northern European winters, Turkey is a great place for a holiday in the sun. It can be absolutely spell-binding, and many a holiday maker has returned to their normal life and started talking about moving there for good. However, crossing the divide between fantasy and action is a big step. As Jack and Liam discovered, the difference between an imagined new life and the actual one can be a real shock. If you’re lost in the dream, this is the book for you!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    If you love British ex-pat memoirs (with plenty of humour) as much as I do you will love "Perking the Pansies: Jack and Liam Move to Turkey"! Jack and Liam leave their hurried lives in the UK to live abroad in Turkey. Not without trepidation of what may arise living in a less liberal country. Jack and Liam meet some quirky ex-pats and endearing locals but find that they must distance themselves from several of them. Along with their humour, Jack and Liam have many endearing qualities that will l If you love British ex-pat memoirs (with plenty of humour) as much as I do you will love "Perking the Pansies: Jack and Liam Move to Turkey"! Jack and Liam leave their hurried lives in the UK to live abroad in Turkey. Not without trepidation of what may arise living in a less liberal country. Jack and Liam meet some quirky ex-pats and endearing locals but find that they must distance themselves from several of them. Along with their humour, Jack and Liam have many endearing qualities that will leave you wanting to read more. I have already moved on to the next installment, "Turkey Street: Jack and Liam Move to Bodrum".

  30. 4 out of 5

    Margaret Whittock

    Thought-provoking Book That Will Perk You Up Too ... At some time in our lives most of us contemplate upping sticks and going to live abroad, but unlike the author of Perking the Pansies, Jack, and his husband, Liam, most of us never do. Sick of London life and its concomitant stresses, our two heroes decided to take the plunge, retired early and set off for a new life in Turkey. Here, after a trial run in Yalikavak, learning to deal with the vagaries of the expat community and some of the more c Thought-provoking Book That Will Perk You Up Too ... At some time in our lives most of us contemplate upping sticks and going to live abroad, but unlike the author of Perking the Pansies, Jack, and his husband, Liam, most of us never do. Sick of London life and its concomitant stresses, our two heroes decided to take the plunge, retired early and set off for a new life in Turkey. Here, after a trial run in Yalikavak, learning to deal with the vagaries of the expat community and some of the more colourful locals, they finally settled in a quaint cottage in the seaside resort of Bodrum. I confess I read Jack's book since, for a number of years, I also lived in Turkey, in fact, honeymooned in out-of-season Bodrum. I wanted to see if my experiences of life as an expat in Turkey were similar to Jack and Liam's and, indeed, to some extent, they were. However, given that my husband and I were employed in Istanbul and were not early retirees like Jack and Liam, we perhaps led a more protected life. Nevertheless we couldn’t choose those we worked with, or more often than not, the people we socialised with. And since to begin with, neither of us spoke a word of Turkish, we soon discovered there was no option but to mix with other expats. I certainly recognise Jack’s experiences in respect to this : “Some of the expats are just awful. God, in real life I’d cross the street to avoid them.” Some of the expats Jack met in Bodrum could have been the very same people I came across in Istanbul, to the extent that a shiver ran up my spine while reading about them … which tells you all you need to know about the author’s excellent characterisation. One such “emigrey” is the appalling Chrissy, who having invited ‘the boys’ to dinner with herself and “her shell-suited beau” tells them: “There’s very little class in these parts,” oblivious to the irony in her words. And there is much more in that vein. Besides painting his characters with such colourful strokes, Jack Scott is also adept at scene-setting … reading this fast-paced book I was back in Turkey again, complete with all its sounds, sights and smells. In Chapter Sixteen, on returning from a visit to the UK, his husband Liam remarks: “I’ve missed that typically Turkish aroma.” To which Jack replies: “Jasmine and rancid drains. I’ll get the bleach.” With those two sentences I was back in Istanbul. Other reviewers of this book have remarked that it’s a good holiday read and certainly it’s often a very humourous account of life in one of Turkey’s busiest seaside resorts, complete with its quirky inhabitants. Indeed I read most of the book during a particularly difficult week and it cheered me up no end. However, besides the book’s more poignant moments … and there are many … there is also a more serious side to Scott’s writing. As one who often endured, rather than enjoyed life as an expat, I can see that there is much here of value to anyone considering living abroad. Having resided in countries other than Turkey I know that the problems and pitfalls are largely similar regardless of where you go … and expats are expats all over the world. As Scott writes in the epilogue: “What began as an exhilarating journey into the unknown soon became a raw test of endurance.” And so it was for me at times until I acquired, like Jack and Liam, two invaluable assets: staying power; plus the ability to embrace and learn about other cultures … unlike those whining UK expats, “Ignoratis”, who never do … without quite becoming like those at the other end of the spectrum, “EmikÖy”, who’ve practically gone native. However, there is one aspect of life abroad that I did not have to cope with … being gay in a country in which homesexuality is still illegal. To be brave enough to live there in these circumstances not only paves the way for other gay men and women seeking to travel to Turkey or live there, but must give hope to all those Turkish gay men and women who still feel unable to come out, or indeed lead any form of normal life. As well as giving a nuts and bolts account of life amongst ‘the expats’, Jack Scott is to be applauded for providing an honest account of life in Turkey as a gay man. I recommend this well-written and, at times, thought-provoking book, and I look forward to reading the sequel …

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