“Hala isn’t a bad student. Just ask the person she pays to write her papers for her.”
This is a Chair is a delightful, entertaining and burst-out-laughing book that has an unforgettable kick at the end. It’s a story of a quirky American academy of learning in the heart of Arabia. The main character is an administrator and instructor, busy trying to balance the fractious needs of the other teachers and the often-clever schemes of the students.
Each of the many characters – teachers and students alike – are etched in unforgettable, realistic and hilarious detail. Loomis is a master of the English language and sometimes he makes up his own words, but they all work and seem perfect in their descriptions.
While he deftly and swiftly describes the intimate dramas that unfold inside the school, he also shadows something darker happening outside the school – something that moves ever closer as the pages turn.
The ending will surprise you, but it is the adventures and plots hatched by the colorful characters that carry this book to its rightful place next to the works of Carl Hiaasen, Maddie Dawson, Doug Adams, with maybe a touch of Mark Twain tossed in. Loomis promises that unlike Hala, he wrote this book himself.