|Buy the book.|
I read Jack's book as soon as I got back from Bodrum, even holding off on the book I was already half-done with, and I've been meaning to write the review ever since.
So why haven't I? I don't know. So much time has passed I've started to feel ashamed. I've never written a book review before, and I admit I'm finding it tricky to review a book of someone I met who I liked so well.
Then it occurred to me that's probably the best thing. Perking the Pansies is a memoir in the truest sense. The sentences are laced with the narrator, and if he's an unreliable narrator I don't give a shit. It could be that I'm an unreliable reviewer and I don't give a shit about that either. Perking the Pansies was a pleasure. I want to say it was a dirty pleasure, but it wasn't. Light reading, yes, but light content, no.
|This guy knows all about your host country.|
|Who would you be friends with?|
Not that being unacceptable at home is completely a bad thing. Sometimes this speaks well of people, and the expats who turned out to be okay in Perking the Pansies are also well-drawn, with obvious and abundant affection. It reminds me how lucky I am to come across the a lot of the people I have here, both foreign and Turkish.
|Even Turks have the beloved kapıcı caricature.|
The death of Üzgün is something I can't get my head around still. And my heart aches for Charlotte and Alan, who I hope have at least found their Adalet. I expect Jack to keep us updated about them even after he's gone.
Because, yes, this is another thing that happens with expats. They leave. They have good reasons for leaving, but it doesn't make it any easier when they go away. There's a constant ebb and flow of losing people you love and finding new ones to love. Maybe it's the lack of permanence that keeps life interesting.
So, Jack, I leave you with a quote from another Jack who I like way less but who nonetheless gets it right sometimes...
“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
Jack Kerouac-- On The Road
I wish Jack and Liam all the best with whatever adventure life throws at them next.