Nov 24, 2009

Right to the top of my Christmas present list

"He hates the modern world, everywhere abroad except Austria, Rosie Boycott, Clive James, Francis Bacon, Simon Cowell, Harold Pinter, “sad mother Julie Myerson”, “blubbery” Mark Lawson, Alexander Walker (“I was thrilled when the old poof died”), Andrew Roberts and his “grimace of a baboon with diarrhoea trying to hold it in”, and, somewhat paradoxically, bad manners. He also hates Christmas letters, in which proud parents boast about how well little Ptolemy and Chlamydia are doing at school.... He has never been invited on Newsnight Review or to judge a literary award, and detests London parties, preferring to remain at home in splendid isolation in the “Herefordshire Balkans”, “like Ovid on the Black Sea”. There he lies in bed seething, watching TV soaps or musing obscenely about what precisely you could fit into Billie Piper’s mouth. “Laughed at by editors, derided by the critics, betrayed by friends, disrespected and overlooked and humiliated”, he finds that even “a photograph of me in the Malvern Gazette makes me look like a shoplifter in Budgen’s — doughy, yellowish, porcine and furtive”. He suffers incessant health problems, eye disease, obesity, a lung infection. “I’ve been coughing so much I sucked my trousers up my arse.” All the while he craves dignity, “decorum”, and just a little recognition." — review of Roger Lewis's Seasonal Suicide Notes
I cannot wait to read this book. Lewis's biography of Peter Sellers remains the best biography of a movie star I have ever read — a book run through with such liverish understanding of Seller's many, many flaws that you rather feared for its author. He was either exceptionally wise or just as fucked up as Sellers. Just as fucked up as Sellers, it turns out.

1 comment:

  1. Likewise; I saw a review of this ages ago and thought it sounded great but forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder.