First published as Florence of Arabia, this risqué novel from a gay Brit who once lived in Bahrain is both funny and pacy. Now called Shaikh Down, the novel had me covering my eyes at times at the audacious way he writes about the debauched lifestyle of a cast of caricatures who live in the fictional Arabic country of Belaj.
“I wrote the book as “revenge” for the abduction and murder of the boy who worked with me in Bahrain. Because of all the other weird and wonderful things that were going on in Bahrain when I was there – Egyptian bellydancers performing for the local merchants, airhostesses moonlighting as hookers, etc – I found the book needed to be a comedy, but a comedy with a sting in its tail, the assassination of the island’s Ruler,” explains David Gee, the author.
Gee is a professional writer with an easy style that has you turning pages at breakneck speed, even if only to zip over the particularly naughty bits. Featuring every possible sexual persuasion from a cast of characters who would be at home in TOWIE or a Carry On film, it’s a good read.
His next book, The Dropout, is another racy read. Watch out for its publication later this year from Matador.