Rupert Everett's memoir, Vanished Years, is our May Non-Fiction Book of the Month

(64 Posts)

Our Non-Fiction Book of the Month, VANISHED YEARS, is written by a famous actor but is in no way comparable to the average celebrity memoir. A darkly comic collection of snapshots from Rupert Everett's tumultuous life, the book is like a throwback to the age of Evelyn Waugh or David Niven. Everett's writing is exactly how you imagine his company: urbane, seductive, exuberant, rude, unedited. It is a colloquial, immediate voice, and he writes very well, deftly mixing superficial gossip and profound, reflective moments in the same sentence. Like his previous, highly-acclaimed bestseller, Red Carpet and Other Banana Skins, the book is stuffed with anecdotes that skewer the fashion/showbiz worlds with droll wit. His escape from Alan Sugar and the Apprentice team is franticly funny. There are plenty of debauched parties, lurid clubs and famous faces behaving badly. But this time Everett is more thoughtful about the past, how we remember our lives and those who played a starring role. There are moving chapters on the deaths of Natasha Richardson and Isabella Blow, and a poignant trip to Lourdes. As the Guardian put it, it is 'a tragical, comical, ironical Broadway-hit-show of a life', told with great panache and fearlessness.

Little Brown have 50 copies to give to Mumsnetters - to claim yours please go to the book of the month page. We'll post here when all the copies have gone. If you're not lucky enough to bag one of the free books, you can always get your paperback or Kindle version here.

Once you've got your copy, please come and discuss the book here throughout the month - looking forward to seeing what you all think...

Just gone to the book of the month page....can't see what to do!

I can't see it on the page either.

johnworf Tue 14-May-13 15:57:25

Scratches head and looks at the map again....

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 14-May-13 17:00:07

Apologies - here's the link to the book of the month page:

Vanished Years by Rupert Everett

To apply for one of the fifty free copies, fill in the form at the bottom of the page before the end of Friday 17th May. We'll contact all those who have been allocated copies as soon as we hear from Faber that the books have been distributed.

Willemdefoeismine Wed 15-May-13 10:11:21

Once had the pleasure of meeting Mr Everett in his beauteous youth - he was gorgeous! He also spins a very amusing yarn!

OrWellyAnn Wed 15-May-13 10:34:52

Woo hoo! Done!

Hurrah! He may be very gay, but he is still very pleasant eye candy. Hugely talented actor - I wish I had seen him doing the Oscar Wilde play recently. I also enjoyed seeing him on telly talking about the Bosphorus a couple of years ago...Istanbul looked amazing, and he almost outshone it (even though he was about 50 at the time).

tonyzre Wed 15-May-13 11:35:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

WillColbert Wed 15-May-13 11:35:55

Looking forward to reading this - loved 'Red Carpet'.

Londonseye Wed 15-May-13 12:57:07

He is a bit funny this one. He doesn't thing gay people make good parents, and as one of them, it's an odd statement from a gay man. I would be interested to see if he elaborates on his reasons.

donnie Wed 15-May-13 19:09:27

I saw him and Kenneth Branagh back in about 1982 in the original stage version of 'Another Country' -wow he was so achingly beautiful to look at. Perfect in the role. I was a moody young teenager with a head full of gay rights, soft cell and Brideshead friend and I got his autograph outside later on!

gazzalw Wed 15-May-13 19:43:53

I think he's a mass of contradictions - remember he went to Ampleforth and brought up a Catholic and very upper middle class too..... Not sure he would say he was a "right on" gay man - he is a product of his class, his religious upbringing and possibly his era too....

Very, very funny though and a hoot with all his stories grin...

DW seems to have had a major crush on him as a late teen - even I can appreciate his beauty in Another Country - pity he was such a primadonna then though...

gazzalw Wed 15-May-13 19:44:40

I'm not sure what he would bring to Mumsnet but he would be a fab 'guest' don't you think MNHQ -

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 15-May-13 20:13:28

The book is very good. He is a very good writer and in frankly phenomenal nick for a man in his 50s who has not exactly stinted himself when it comes to life's pleasures.
There is a funny line in it about Richard Curtis being to Blair's Britain what Leni Riefenstahl was to Hitler's Germany. Oh how I laughed.

KarlosKKrinkelbeim Wed 15-May-13 20:14:12

And yes, we should definitely have him as a guest on MN.

Corygal Wed 15-May-13 21:55:27

His other two books are BLINDINGLY GOOD. I'd be dying to read it and rant accordingly - can't wait to see if this one matches up.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 16-May-13 07:12:41

Dont understand what brings this self centered person to mumsnet.
He admitedly thinks children are a waste of space and not only for gay couples.

Met him on a couple of occasions about 10 years ago as we were practically neighbors. He did not seem like a pleasant person to be around in RL. He would sneer and move away from the children whenever in the lift.
Don't know why but this has stayed with me and have a visceral repulsion for the man despite the fact i do find his aging diva act quite endearing.

MasterOfTheYoniverse Thu 16-May-13 07:29:42

Re: the issue with gay parenting, i saw him on hardtalk following the release of the book a few weeks ago.

If i remember correctly, he did not really say that gay parents make for rubbish parenting. Well, he did but then baktracked when pulled on it.

He insisted on the fact that considering the lifestyle choices of most gay couples, he does not understand why they would want to be parents.
Clearly he was talking about himself and his small coterie of trendy friends which he also eventually admitted.

gazzalw Thu 16-May-13 07:54:21

Maybe he wouldn't appeal to Mumsnetters as parents but as flouncy, opinionated divas (only joking....) grin

feeltheforce Thu 16-May-13 13:36:11

He is such a good writer. Love him.

hackmum Thu 16-May-13 17:30:00

I've read Vanished Years - enjoyed it but not as much as Red Carpets, which is screamingly funny. No idea what he's like as a person but he's a brilliant writer.

hackmum Thu 16-May-13 17:30:57

Oh, Karlos - I just saw your comment about his line about Richard Curtis. That really made me chuckle too. Have been quoting it to people ever since.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 16-May-13 17:44:02


I'm not sure what he would bring to Mumsnet but he would be a fab 'guest' don't you think MNHQ -

We have tried - believe me, but he's evidently v busy treading the boards. We'll pass on the message that you want him to join us though wink

gazzalw Thu 16-May-13 18:06:23

As I said, he'd be right at home amongst a group of outspoken, flouncy, flirtatious divas grin - (ducks for cover).

Maybe he thinks he will be 'slaughtered' for his views - I think there'd be lots of serious flirting going on from some quarters wink

TheConstantLurker Sat 18-May-13 11:17:56

I've signed up for a copy even though the deadline has past. Fingers crossed.
I read his first bit of autobiography and found it very entertaining but came away feeling rather melancholy as there were very few references to meaningful relationships. People who he had been having relationships with for years were written off in single sentences with no sign of any emotion.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 20-May-13 16:26:57

Hey all, the giveaway is now closed and we'll be sending over the details of the 50 who've been allocated books later today and as soon as we've heard from Little,Brown that the books have been sent out, we'll email to let you know. Enjoy ! And don't forget to come back and let us know what you think.

I'm still going back to my copy and re-reading chapters, it is SUCH a peculiarly extraordinary life. And extraordinary outlook.

Busy writing about next months book at the moment, but will be back to discuss in more detail - can't wait to hear what everyone thinks.

Willemdefoeismine Fri 24-May-13 08:21:52

I am sooooo looking forward to reading this. Rupert Everett was always one of my 'pashes' as a teenager. Can anyone seriously out-beauty him as he was in Another Country???

I have met him and saw him in a rather infamous production with Maria Aitken in the late 80s. He was rather more moody in those days, methinks. I think he is someone who has mellowed with age for sure. He has gone from being a primadonna to very much a product of his class. Now he looks more like a distinguished ex-naval captain than the brooding, luscious adonis of his youth - just as handsome though!

He is artfully intelligent and writes in a style that is very entertaining to read! So I will be avidly reading this one as soon as it drops thro' the letterbox.


NicknameTaken Fri 24-May-13 09:52:19

Nearly finished my copy. Well-written, but I haven't found it funny at all - much more melancholy, despite the witty flourishes. He sees the skull beneath the skin.

I was not expecting the tender portrayal of Lourdes. His trip to Cambodia as UN Goodwill Ambassador is very moving.

I enjoyed the picture of a life less ordinary, escaping the humdrum everyday round for a life of parties, travel and sex with strangers. You get the hear the banter between hysterical star and calming dresser while waiting to go on in a Broadway play.

Worth reading, yes, but certainly not a laugh a minute.

I'm dying to read this. Hope my copy comes next week.

johnworf Thu 30-May-13 22:07:27

I still haven't received mine. Has everyone got theirs already?

I'm also still waiting.

Nehru Fri 31-May-13 07:01:33

I LOATHE this man. Plus he was once amazingly rude to a journalist mate of mine, a real hardened pro who he managed to reduce to tears (privately afterwards ) by being sullen and uncooperative.

I will not be reading this book.

Corygal Fri 31-May-13 19:59:27

I've had nowt. And I am frothing for mine, I can't wait.

Might watch my free dvd of Another Country for research purposes, hem.
With vital scholarly accompaniments of fizz and truffles.

PricklyPickle Fri 31-May-13 20:38:19

StIll waiting for mine too sad

Has anyone received their free copy yet? If so, could you quickly post here. And if not, I will start chasing...

Nickname taken, I agree about the melancholy, especially when the book closes with that poignant last chapter on his father. The overall feeling is quite macabre, I think that is what lifted it above the usual celeb stuff for me. And definitely higher quality of writing. But certain parts did very much lighten the mood, especially when he's involved in anything disastrous, like the Mr Ambassador series. I laughed at his take on Hollywood and the people in it. I like the fact he's an insider and an outsider at the same time.

TheConstantLurker Tue 04-Jun-13 14:31:40

My copy has not arrived yet. I replied to the email from Laura@mumsnet to say so.

Change2013 Tue 04-Jun-13 16:55:12

Still waiting for mine too. Can't wait to read it.

Corygal Wed 05-Jun-13 16:39:41

Come on Rupes!

Babbletalk Thu 06-Jun-13 11:07:02

I was thrilled to hear I'd managed to get one of the free copies of this book. However, it still hasn't arrived. anyone else with this problem?

Babbletalk Thu 06-Jun-13 11:09:15

Sorry, for my last post! just read the previous messages and it looks like others are in the same boat. Think its time for a coffee to wake myself up!!.

Haven't had my copy either. Had an email from Laura to say the publishers have got into a bit of a mess so will hopefully be with us soon!

Spoken to pubishers, and copies should have been in the post on Thurs/Friday - let me know when you've received one...

My copy arrived yesterday! I have enjoyed the first chapter...and will post more idc.


Corygal Tue 11-Jun-13 16:19:17

I've got mine! Time to turn off the phone, fail to send work in, leave kids and cat unfed, and even go off MN - I may be some time...

Babbletalk Tue 11-Jun-13 16:29:41

I got mine today. looking forward to getting into it. Thank you.

Still haven't recieved mine but as nobody was home today, I had a card from DPD couriers saying a parcel is ready to collect so I'm hoping this is it!

Willemdefoeismine Wed 12-Jun-13 09:59:53

Well I've started my copy (a huge thank-you) and enjoying it immensely even though I'm supposed to be finishing my Book Club read first hmm. I love his writing style - he comes across as being very clever and has a good satirical way with words....

I love the opening chapter with him coming across Anita Pallenberg searching out prescription drugs....he has had an extraordinarily amazing life....

And grin for mistaking Alan Sugar for Sid James - that assuredly puts the former in his place. But rather arrogant - that rather snooty "not our class" approach.....

TheConstantLurker Wed 12-Jun-13 10:55:49

Got mine a few days ago and have even started reading it. Good start and very funny chapter on The Apprentice.

DeclutterQueen Thu 13-Jun-13 16:24:16

Oooh he's a bit naughty, that Rupert E. What my dear mother would refer to as 'a bit of a one'! I'm only two chapters in but there have already been mentions of escorts and drug abuse. Don't read if easily offended as he doesn't mince words.
I have a hide thicker than a rhinoceros so I'm enjoying this immensely.

TheConstantLurker Fri 14-Jun-13 13:56:50

Right I'm posting as I read so that I don't forget it all.
I've got to 'The End of Charity' I found the Washington political chapter practically incomprehensible. All of the characters merged into each other in a blur of 'he' and 'she's about whom I cared not a jot. The next chapters about the making of The Ambassador were very funny and educational. I barked out laughs at regular intervals especially at the good witches and the accents.
Some of the description gets too long winded and a bit too flowery for me so I have started skipping tiny bits.

I collected my copy from the courier depot yesterday, thanks so much. Enjoying it hugely so far and almost finished the prologue.

The Richard Curtis anecdote on p19 is so funny grin

Elainey1609 Sat 15-Jun-13 16:48:55

I really loved this book. Rupert had an extraordinary life, What is what is so gratifying, is how extraordinarily well he writes about it. The prose is fantastic whether he's describing a poignant trip to Lourdes with his father or appearing on The television programme comic relief does The Apprentice, he manages to be evocative and constantly witty.
Very well written i would describe it as being very 'English'. It was charmingly funny and extremely sad making me at times throughout the book want to both cry and laugh at the same time.
The book really showed the reader into his true being and laying him bare which I feel that many autobiographys struggle to do.
Although not as good as the first volume, I was still wishing for more chapters so looking forward to him writing more

Corygal Sun 16-Jun-13 21:06:31

I loved it. But - the big question - is it as good as the first one? Well, no.

It's much better, and that's the trouble. More lyrically written, more thoughtful, more melancholy (a lot of haunting place descriptions for some reason) - but precisely because of that rather higher-minded focus it's nowhere near the rip-roaring ride through slebville that one delighted in in Bananas.

Still deliciously indiscreet tho - the stuff on Isabella Blow is an almost perfect celeb gone bad vignette. Worth it just for that. But the piece on Nicky Haslam is pure (fag) hagiography and doesn't capture how screamingly smart and funny Nicky is. And every celeb is a D-list darling, to be honest - the funny stuff comes from the gay scene.

And the book is very disjointed, just a series of cameos - I have a nasty feeling that the publisher signed up for an autobiography and got a fragmented series of semi-articles, some very evidently rehashed from magazine work. La Rupert threw a wobbly and wouldn't change it. I would bet 100 quid on that.

Much to everyone's surprise, tho', he's a serious writer emerging from the cheekbones - candour, brevity and observational powers yes, sleb titillation and Wildean wit, no.

Willemdefoeismine Wed 19-Jun-13 11:58:56

I couldn't put it down but I did find some parts of Vanished Years more unforgettable and poignant or even witty than others. Loved the whole scene involving Anita Pallenberg - a bit like something out of AbFab???

I read the book and the more I read, the more I started to feel as if I was reading about two very distinct characters - the arch, Establishment, Catholic, upper middle class guy and the louche, low-life loving 'queen'. I looked up his birthdate and reader, it came as no surprise to me that he is a Gemini!

I think his writing style is wonderful although I don't remember it being quite so rich and engaging when he wrote his previous autobiographical tomes.

I agree with whoever said that some of the vignettes seem more like magazine articles. But in a way I like that about makes a change from a standard sequential reflection upon one's life...

I loved the whole Apprentice episode and his memories of being in New York with Isabella Blow (she sounds a thousand times more outrageous than him..). Less keen on some of his memories of living life in the gay lane...not sure why really.....maybe because I prefer to read about people of whom I have some awareness rather than 'unknowns.'

Although I read it during a drizzly few days, it's the sort of book that's made for holiday beach reading. It made me chortle out loud and some of his anecdotes were just beyond amusing....

I also loved that I am not alone in calling parents Mummy and Daddy well past childhood...... grin

Babbletalk Wed 19-Jun-13 20:11:44

Overall I enjoyed the book. I took to his style of writing, humour and descriptive use of language. I very much loved getting the 'inside' story on celebrities and Hollywood, then reading about his non-celebrity life.

However as I delved deeper into the book, I began to think some of the chapters/stories were drawn out.

SamsGoldilocks Sun 23-Jun-13 21:07:54

I'm enjoying his retelling of little vignettes, I don't think his life would work as an A-z sort of story, even if he could remember it.

I enjoyed the regaling of his first awakening to the film with Anita Pallenberg and his tales of his series Mr Ambassador.

He is overly waffly at times. But at least he can write rather than some 'so called celebs'.

TheConstantLurker Sun 23-Jun-13 21:57:09

Finished it a few days ago. My general impression is of enjoying it more than his first autobiographical book which I think is because this one is more personal. I loved the chapters on Blithe Spirit on Broadway and on Isabella Blow. The lourdes trip didn't move me but Rupert's description of his fathers last days did.
I will now be passing it onto my mother to enjoy.

johnworf Fri 28-Jun-13 11:32:39

I adore this book! It's been a long time since I've laughed out loud whilst reading. He's most definitely a 'why use a few words when 30 will do just as well'.

Overall, a great read. I need to read his first book now grin

mrsshackleton Fri 28-Jun-13 11:50:06

The best celebrity memoir there is. The bits about Richard Curtis being the Leni Riefensthal of Blair's Britain and Madonna going off to wrap herself in clingfilm are genius.

Change2013 Sat 29-Jun-13 21:16:49

There aren't that many books that have made me laugh out loud but this one did. I felt that I could hear Rupert Everett's voice reading the book aloud because he has his own style of writing which I like.

The book evoked a range of emotions and the part about his fathers death was very moving. I'm now going to look for Red carpets and other banana skins as I heard part of it on radio 4 but haven't read it.

Overall I had been looking forward to reading Vanished Years very much and I enjoyed it.

sammibaps Mon 15-Jul-13 18:54:00

Hav finished reading but was left feeling somewhat deflated. In parts v interesting, thought provoking and emotional. However I felt that the story timeline was all over the place not knowing which time in his life it was which I found personally frustrating. Having said that what an interesting chap.

I've mixed feelings about the book. He can certainly evoke a scene vividly but sometimes he goes too far - his prose is too verbose for my taste. I think a judicious editor should have removed about 50 pages. His extremely high level of observation is almost unworldy - I just wish there wasn't so much of it. The melancholy tone initially I found refreshing compared to the other sleb autobio's I've read but half way through it got wearying and I felt quite depresssed after I'd finished the book. As a fan of Rupsy, I have to say that I also felt a little let down because he comes across as unnecessarily bitchy, spoilt and shallow at times. And I don't know what Robert Collins in Sunday Times was on about when he described the book as 'unsparingly bitchy' - I sensed he held a lot back, especially about Angela Lansbury and Natasha Richardson, though I think the book is generally better for the restraint and the chapters on his fathers death and his friendship with Isabella Blow were wonderful and his Apprentice antics were very funny to read.

Just about worth reading but it doesn't come close to Red Carpets.

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