The year is 1996. 24-year-old Jimmy Irvine quits the tombstone grey skies of Scotland for the sun-kissed beaches of Dubai. A news reporter and small-time club DJ, Jimmy soon becomes exposed to the city’s underbelly of organised crime - a seedy world which has infiltrated the cabin crew of an Arabian airline. Strict sharia laws govern the country where premarital sex is a crime, homosexuality illegal, drugs sentences severe and censorship is regularly imposed across the media. But Jimmy is not subservient to authority. He is hell-bent on pushing boundaries, finding the scoops and daring to organise Dubai’s first desert rave, whatever the consequences.
Ryan started his passion for writing at 21 when he launched a music and fashion fanzine in his home city of Aberdeen. He then went onto to become a qualified journalist in the 1990s writing for national newspapers in the UK and in the United Arab Emirates. He was on the tail end of the Second Summer of Love, heading to Ibiza for the first time in 1990 and like so many came back with a different outlook on life. From then on, he DJ'd and promoted several nights and today runs the 'POV' vinyl only event in London. Cola Boy is his first book with the follow-up due to be published at the end of 2023.
The Cola Boy story weaves through club culture from Scotland, Leeds and London to the free-spirited island of Ibiza. As Jimmy's tale unfolds so too does the soundtrack to the book with references to some favourite tunes of the 90s. You can listen to them here on Spotify.
‘A fast paced, kinetic debut from a writer with his finger on the pulse of the working class culture.
Endearing, exciting and authentic' - DEAN CAVANAGH (Author and Screen Writer)
'The characters and story are as vivid and bright as Dubai's 49°C sun!
Get involved with Cola Boy - it’s the real thing!' - LEO GREGORY (Actor)
'A brilliant debut about Generation X getting lost in the desert. The heat, the music and the right
gear in all respects jumps off the page at you. This is a rip roaring ride about how a man can be in
the wrong place at the right time.' - JONNY OWEN (Film Producer, Writer, Actor)
‘Sky high, stylish tales of Arabian nights from the down to earth cruder side of the expat Gulf scene.
Cola Boy’s tale reads like a Dubai Rum Diaries in a sandstorm of uncomplacent reality.
A bold, well paced debut’ - DJ DRIBBLER (DJ and Author)
'A riveting birds-eye view of youth culture that perfectly transcends the blueprint of the
northern soul beginnings, to the equally drug-fuelled partying of modern
day clubbing and lifestyle. If you were there, you’ll love it!' - YOGI HAUGHTON (DJ and Writer)
‘It’s absolutely brilliant. It’s gripping, it’s funny and it takes you on a journey. It’s got all the heart
and free spirit of a road trip story. Some parts are so beautiful and laugh out loud funny.
When I got to the end I wanted more!’ - SARAH MICHELLE DURRANT (Film writer and director)
'If you know the heat of the UAE then this book transports you right there with the added certainty
that if you don't play by the rules there are consequences. Cola Boy is a banging read for those
hot summer beach vibes.' - DANNY CLOCKWORK (DJ and Author)
'Cola Boy is a delicious portal into the 90's illegal rave scene fused with the danger and allure of Dubai's
forbidden underworld. Living vicariously through Jack-the-lad Jimmy, the book kept me on edge, and hooked
from start to finish. Quick-witted, darkly comic and edgy.' - CANDIS NERGAARD, (Writer and Actor)
‘A brutal but hilarious semi-autobiographical account of Dubai in the 90s told by a young Scottish hack.
A sobering story of excess and corruption with a mix of zippy dialogue, Tarantino violence and Trainspotting
honesty about drugs and addiction. A must read!’ - EVA PASCOE (Entrepreneur and Writer)
Published by Zani.co.uk