Not a Man

Not a Man : The Story of Shuki Bolkiah

4.14 (88 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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From boy of the slums to Oxford Graduate, this is the story of Shuki Bolkiah - modern day eunuch. 'Not a Man' is set in an unnamed country of Arabia. Shuki is aged ten, and a 'bed-boy.' His master wants his beautiful boy to stay beautiful, so arranges for him to have 'a small operation.' This traumatic event changes forever the life of a clever, determined boy. Shuki learns to manipulate his master. He learns to read and write, he gets his master into the habit of giving him large sums of money, and he makes friends with the master's sons. Shuki becomes more beautiful with every passing year. His master becomes more possessive, more jealous, and Shuki is guarded. When the master takes him to England, he escapes and starts a new life with the money he's saved. He is fifteen.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 532 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 27mm | 703g
  • English
  • 1477615962
  • 9781477615966
  • 2,471,191

Rating details

88 ratings
4.14 out of 5 stars
5 55% (48)
4 22% (19)
3 11% (10)
2 8% (7)
1 5% (4)

Our customer reviews

Raw, brutal, shocking. Warm, compassionate, tender. All these things and more. Rarely have I gone through so many different emotions reading one book. This is a very long and incredibly detailed story with a huge cast, yet I was never confused or wondering who each character was - nor was I bored, or bogged down with too much information. Instead the author weaves a rich tapestry, pulling threads from a middle-eastern culture that at times seems archaic and extreme to 20th century Oxford University and back again, showing you layer upon layer of depth as slum boy Shuki realises his good looks can be both blessing and curse. What is fascinating is how the author writes with such authority about another culture. Whether this is pure research or she has lived this life, I don't know - but it sounds so authentic and believable. While the brutalities of Shuki's masters are shocking, there are moments of real tenderness and love, and the family bond is strong and close. They share everything - including Shuki. And how far can you go, before love and sex become inextricably entwined? There's a lot of sex in this book. And not all of it is good sex, so don't read this if you are easily offended by graphic descriptions of such things. But I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone who wants to understand the different standards by which other cultures live - even today. Shuki's story could well be more
by D Bennett
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