Florence of Arabia: A Novel

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Random House Publishing Group, Dec 18, 2007 - Fiction - 272 pages
6 Reviews
The bestselling author who made mincemeat of political correctness in Thank You for Smoking, conspiracy theories in Little Green Men, and Presidential indiscretions No Way to Treat a First Lady now takes on the hottest topic in the entire world–Arab-American relations–in a blistering comic novel sure to offend the few it doesn’t delight.

Appalled by the punishment of her rebellious friend Nazrah, youngest and most petulant wife of Prince Bawad of Wasabia, Florence Farfarletti decides to draw a line in the sand. As Deputy to the deputy assistant secretary for Near East Affairs, Florence invents a far-reaching, wide-ranging plan for female emancipation in that part of the world.

The U.S. government, of course, tells her to forget it. Publicly, that is. Privately, she’s enlisted in a top-secret mission to impose equal rights for the sexes on the small emirate of Matar (pronounced “Mutter”), the “Switzerland of the Persian Gulf.” Her crack team: a CIA killer, a snappy PR man, and a brilliant but frustrated gay bureaucrat. Her weapon: TV shows.

The lineup on TV Matar includes A Thousand and One Mornings, a daytime talk show that features self-defense tips to be used against boyfriends during Ramadan; an addictive soap opera featuring strangely familiar members of the Matar royal family; and a sitcom about an inept but ruthless squad of religious police, pitched as “Friends from Hell.”

The result: the first deadly car bombs in the country since 1936, a fatwa against the station’s entire staff, a struggle for control of the kingdom, and, of course, interference from the French. And that’s only the beginning.

A merciless dismantling of both American ineptitude and Arabic intolerance, Florence of Arabia is Christopher Buckley’s funniest and most serious novel yet, a biting satire of how U.S. good intentions can cause the Shiite to hit the fan.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - iftyzaidi - LibraryThing

Well its Christopher Buckley so one can expect some eviscerating satire and plenty of laughs (though I didn't think it was anywhere near as funny as [Little Green Men].) The subject matter looks ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Clif - LibraryThing

In the spirit of Lawrence of Arabia who freed the Arabs, so also Florence of Arabia bravely set out to free the women of the Middle East from gender injustice in an oppressive theocracy. Every ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
3
Section 2
9
Section 3
16
Section 4
26
Section 5
32
Section 6
40
Section 7
45
Section 8
54
Section 21
140
Section 22
147
Section 23
151
Section 24
158
Section 25
165
Section 26
173
Section 27
183
Section 28
195

Section 9
59
Section 10
66
Section 11
75
Section 12
83
Section 13
90
Section 14
96
Section 15
104
Section 16
109
Section 17
115
Section 18
120
Section 19
127
Section 20
134
Section 29
201
Section 30
206
Section 31
214
Section 32
223
Section 33
230
Section 34
235
Section 35
240
Section 36
245
Section 37
248
Section 38
257
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Christopher Buckley is a novelist, essayist, humorist, critic, magazine editor, and memoirist. His books have been translated into sixteen foreign languages. He worked as a merchant seaman and White House speechwriter. He has written for many newspapers and magazines and has lectured in more than seventy cities around the world. He was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor and the Washington Irving Medal for Literary Excellence.

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