Florence of Arabia: A Novel by Christopher Buckley

Every once in a while I need something to clense the pallet.  Wait, that is how I started my review of No Way to Treat a First Lady.  Well I am a big fan of Christopher Buckley’s humor.  Darn it.  That is how I started the review of Boomsday.  At least I read Supreme Courtship before I started this blog.

On Friday, I saw a forum post on Kindleboards asking for some comedy book recommendations.  I recommended Christopher Buckley’s book, which are not exactly comedy, but more satire.  That recommendation made me want to listen to another Christopher Buckley book.  I picked up Florence of Arabia from audible.com and by Sunday afternoon I had finished listening to the just over 8 hour book.  There are very few books that I listen to start to finish.

I enjoyed this one, but not as much as the other three.  I am not sure why.  This book was cleaner, a lot less swearing (although there still was some).  The sex was mostly just hinted at, although there were discussions of harems, so it isn’t a child’s book.

It may be that I am less close to the target of the satire in this book.  The basic story line is about Florence, a State Department employee that is tasked with starting a women’s focused Arabic TV station in order to prompt women to rebel against the strictures of their society.  It spends a lot of time showing how western governments are wrapped up in oil and the problems of the middle east.  But most of the time is really spent talking about issues of the middle east and Arab culture.  Christopher Buckley may be a conservative, but he has no problems showing the weaknesses of all sides of the political spectrum.

I still obviously enjoyed the story.  And the last 2 minutes was a welcome addendum.  But if you are starting from scratch, I would pick one of the other three that I have read so far.

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