Vanished Years by Rupert Everett
Rupert Everett turns out to be not only an admired actor, with successes in Britain and Hollywood, but also a born memoirist, with a candid, self-deprecating style that is peculiarly English, very much like an earlier generation of witty social observers, such as David Niven or Evelyn Waugh.
Our May non-fiction choice, Vanished Years is a darkly comic collection of snapshots from Rupert's life. His writing is exactly how you imagine his company: urbane, seductive, exuberant, rude and unedited. It is a colloquial, immediate voice, and he can deftly mix superficial gossip and profound, reflective moments in the same sentence.
Like his previous bestseller, Red Carpet and Other Banana Skins, the book is stuffed with anecdotes that skewer the fashion and showbiz worlds with droll wit. His escape from Alan Sugar ("Sid James' brother") and the Apprentice team is frantically 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, pushing his wheelchair-bound father past 'statues at all prices'.
Vanished Years feels like an extraordinary photo album, with Everett's conspiratorial voice in your ear as you flick through the pages. It can be bitchy and amusing, but what truly pulls the scenes together is the overall tone of tenderness and sadness on the inevitability of growing old.
'A tragical, comical, ironical Broadway-hit-show of a life.' Read the full Guardian review.
About the author
Rupert Everett was born in Norfolk in 1959. Educated at Ampleforth College, he was later expelled from the Central School of Speech and Drama in London, but soon made a name for himself at the avant-garde Glasgow Citizens Theatre.
In 1984, he found international fame following his lead role in Another Country, and has since appeared in many successful films, including Shakespeare in Love, An Ideal Husband, The Madness of King George III, The Importance of Being Earnest, Dance With a Stranger, Pret-a-Porter and My Best Friends' Wedding.
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