Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins

Colm Tóibín writes:

Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins is an interesting portrait of someone who believes in celebrity slowly becoming one himself. It is also a picture of an age, presided over by Warhol and Versace on one side of the fence and Thatcher and her kind on the other, with Rupert climbing on top of the fence to see which side of the Atlantic, or which party, or which new friend or lover or city, might offer him most fun. In Rupert’s account, in the middle of all the fun, there is loss everywhere, and this gives the book a sort of gravity, makes it more than a very well-written romp through what must be often-told anecdotes and all the terrible roles and tedious films I played in, darling. As Rupert remembers men having sex with each other to the strains of Gloria Gaynor singing ‘I Will Survive,’ he comments chillingly: ‘Many of them wouldn’t.’

(LRB 6 September 2007)

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