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Perking the Pansies - Jack and Liam move to Turkey
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Perking the Pansies - Jack and Liam move to Turkey

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4.19  ·  Rating details ·  113 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 252 pages
Published December 22nd 2011 by Springtime Books (first published December 14th 2011)
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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 ...more
Hilary Fullberry
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Matthew
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Backtobodrum
Mar 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Linda A Janssen
Jan 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Lou Kief
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Michael Nayper
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Evelyn
Feb 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Terry
Feb 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Witty! Fast read - true stories that read like fiction!
David Gee
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
...more
Lenora
May 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
McKerley &  Schippers
May 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Magi
Mar 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Jae
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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,
...more
Lindsay Feliz
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Karen Adams
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Kym Ciftci
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Angela
May 30, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Elisa Rolle
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
2012 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Barndoor
Mar 15, 2012 rated it did not like it
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, ...more
Becky Sherriff
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it


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 countr
...more
Emma
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
louise kilic
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Don
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Two middle aged gay Brits fed up with the rat race take an early retirement and move to Turkey. This is a very well written account of those events. His descriptions of the people, places and situations put you right there, often with a sense of humor. Loved it.
Maggie Myklebust
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Jack Scott has a genuine gift for comic writing.
Tanya
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 :(
Jane Thomson
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Robert Henderson
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lot of fun, surprisingly moving at times, and great to see some ex pats dish on ex pats.
Lisa Morrow
Apr 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Margaret Whittock
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
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THE JAMES MASON C...: Giveaway 1 5 May 05, 2012 06:59AM  
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  • Shadow Hunt
  • Thorns
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  • Tales from the Expat Harem: Foreign Women in Modern Turkey
  • Unconditional Love (Seven Days, #2)
  • The Stars that Tremble (Stars, #1)
  • Condor and the Crown (Condor, #5)
  • Kevin's Stories: Volume 1 (Car Wash, #1.1)
  • When I Fall (An Uncommon Whore, #2)
  • Nothing To Forgive
  • Pineapples & Chocolate
  • Missing Daughter, Shattered Family (David Lloyd Investigations #1)
  • After Sunset
  • Yes, I Would Love Another Glass of Tea: An American Woman's Letters to Turkey
  • Time Is the Water in Which We Swim
  • The Pearl (The Pearl Trilogy, #1)
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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, Jack became a shop boy on Chelsea’s trendy King’s Road: ‘Days on the tills and nights on the tiles were the best probation for a young gay man abo ...more
More about Jack Scott...