Florence of Arabia From the title on down, Buckley is all but begging you to notice how witty he is. And it's not hard to agree, since his… Florence of Arabia From the title on down, Buckley is all but begging you to notice how witty he is. And it's not hard to agree, since his… 2004-09-14 Fiction Random House
Book Review

Florence Of Arabia (2004)

EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Sep 14, 2004; Writer: Christopher Buckley; Genre: Fiction; Publisher: Random House

From the title on down, Buckley is all but begging you to notice how witty he is. And it's not hard to agree, since his tale of the attractive Florence Farfaletti's transformation from State Department cog to beacon of hope for repressed Islamic women in the Middle East is, at the start, very witty indeed. The story in Florence of Arabia spins on a pair of countries, Wasabia (''the Middle East's preeminent 'no-fun zone''') and the far more liberal Matar (''pronounced, for reasons unclear, mutter''), and America's attempt to stabilize the much-contested region by, naturally, launching a TV station with an Italian-American hottie at the helm. It's only when Buckley realizes he can't joke his way out of the horrors that would occur in albeit fictional regimes that the book clashes with itself. Some things even Buckley can't make funny.

Originally posted Sep 17, 2004 Published in issue #784 Sep 17, 2004 Order article reprints
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