Celebrity memoirs can be terribly dull things: at best, scandalous and shocking and at worst, clumsily written and dull.
This is definitely not the case with Rupert Everett’s second volume of memoirs. It’s a gem of a book and a fascinating, evocative and funny read. The difference in these memoirs is that Everett can actually write and has a lot of interesting stories which he’s more than willing to share, regardless of what light they shed on his character or lifestyle.
Everett writes with a mischievous wit which calls to mind the works of classic writers like Noel Coward, Christopher Isherwood and Evelyn Waugh. Unlike the aforementioned writers, Everett has some slightly more salacious and thoroughly modern tales to recount. I’m not sure that Noel Coward ever wrote about losing his clothes in a Berlin bar on “Nude Sunday” or fending off a potential sex tape from the toilet of a Miami dive. I’m sure that if Noel had written about these events then he could only have done so equally as eloquently as Everett does.
Everett recounts a series of tales, some poignant and moving and some absurd but hilarious. He takes the reader with him through events such as an inadvertent appearance on the celebrity version of “The Apprentice” through to starring on Broadway through to his fascinating family life and upbringing. He has a perceptive eye and whether he’s describing accompanying Madonna to a celebrity party, sitting by while the late Isabella Blow manages to horrify Andy Warhol or taking his dying father to Lourdes, he depicts it all with acerbic wit and searing insight.
He comes across as a man of many paradoxes. He isn’t afraid to alienate or offend people and highlight the ridiculous nature of celebrity. He’s happy to take a swipe at people in the public eye with caustic candour and irreverence. His descriptions of Alan Sugar, Simon Schama and Alastair Campbell are amusing and accurate. He appears as being vain and at times arrogant and boorish. Yet at the same time he emerges as a compassionate person who is self deprecating and essentially human (with impeccable style and breeding too, of course).
Everett can be opinionated and outspoken and openly admits that his views may be out of step with a lot of society but the important question for me is not whether I like his views but can he entertain and illuminate? This book kept me gripped and I found it incredibly enriching to read. Definitely recommended for those who like their reading to be intelligent and satisfying.
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.