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Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins Paperback – 5 Jul 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New Ed edition (5 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349120587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349120584
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 94,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Rupert Everett is one of Britain's most admired actors (as well as being one of the most lusted after -- the fact that he has made no secret of being gay has hardly dented his female fan base). But he is also one of our most liked actors, and the reason for that is simple to discern. As his charming (and often hilarious) memoir, Red Carpets and other Banana Skins proves, he is not given to the self-important, self-aggrandising manner of so many actors (notably those in Hollywood). And, in fact, his winningly self-deprecating manner is reminiscent of an earlier generation of British actors, such as David Niven. It's not surprising that Red Carpets and other Banana Skins has invoked favourable comparisons with Niven’s classic autobiography The Moon’s A Balloon.

Theatrical/showbiz memoirs need to be frank and candid, without too many worries about decorum (the actor John Mills’ autobiography some years ago was so anodyne in this respect that many readers yearned for a little unbuttoned candour along with all the praising of famous colleagues -- but there need be no such caveats for Rupert Everett). Everett’s descriptions of working with such stars as Julia Roberts, Sharon Stone and Madonna are hilarious and revealing (with some side-splitting anecdotes), and his book is equally diverting when dealing with the author’s chaotic childhood and adolescence. Actors from an earlier generation -- Niven (as mentioned above) and Dirk Bogarde -- showed that certain thespians could be just as adroit as writers as they were in front of the camera or on stage. To their illustrious (but small) number, Rupert Everett's name may now be honourably added. --Barry Forshaw

Review

You don't need to be a soothsayer to know that, amidst the volcanic spew of fourth-rate celebrity memoirs launched this autumn, only one will be worth the paper it's printed on. I was salivating over my toast and marmalade at last week's serialisation of Rupert Everett's exemplary stab at the genre, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins (Rowan Pelling, INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Hilariously honest. . . a kind of rake's progress. The accounts of filming with stars such as Madonna, Sharon Stone and Julia Roberts are as good as Evelyn Waugh. The earlier scenes from childhood to unruly adolescence, to drama school and a belle epoque (DAILY MAIL)

The most keenly awaited celebrity autobiography is Rupert Everett's RED CARPETS AND OTHER BANANA SKINS, an urbane charmer in the manner David Niven's THE MOON'S A BALLOON (John O'Connell's, TIME OUT)

Lush, profoundly reflective, and thoroughly satisfying autobiography . . . Definitely several cuts above the conventional showbusiness memoir, laced with quirky insights and dazzling phrases it reads like a lurid dream, recalled in deliciously acute deta ('You'll enjoy the hectic energy of Everett's engagement with the beautiful and the damned . . . it's impossible to begrudge Rupert his repetitive ecstasies when the result is a book as glowingly resplendently alive, as beautifully written and as damnably)

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 38 people found the following review helpful By M. Engelen on 2 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book on a whim having seen Rupert Everett being interviewed on television, and I was not disappointed. His account of his life rings so true and I found myself laughing out loud and then feeling miserable along with him. Far from glamorising his professional life one gets a glimpse of stardom with all the warts. I am left wishing I could get a copy of some of the films he describes that were not released and hope to see him on stage one day. A thoroughly enjoyable read, but then I liked his film with Madonna as well so what do I know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aanel Victoria on 11 April 2012
Format: Hardcover
The most surprising thing about Rupert's autobiography is that he is an outstanding writer. (Perhaps that actually shouldn't be quite so surprising, as he's a Gemini.) The second most surprising thing is the book's richness, depth, and humanity. For those who thought it was going to be a superficial joy-ride or a celebrity dish or a gay manifesto, you are wrong on all counts.

Here's what a friend told me about the book, "I think you'd like it if you first throw all expectations aside on how an autobiography ought to be written!"

She was absolutely right. Rupert breathes new life into the genre, and around every corner is a new vista, a new scenario -- which may be either dazzling or riveting or squalid or heartbreaking or exotic or glamorous or completely mystifying. And yes, there is a selection of names and glitterati, but just as often we meet and get to know the obscure, the unknown, the eccentric, the beloved, and the overlooked. In fact, noticing things turns out to be one of Rupert's finest talents, in addition to his remarkable powers of description.

The book is quite absorbing, and Rupert's journeys and living situations and indeed "career" path are so varied, so unpredictable, and so far-flung, that it's impossible to get bored or in a rut with this book. But each locale and situation are treated with Rupert's customary care and richness of description and detail. It's easy to feel yourself there along with him. In fact, the book is wonderful to curl up with. I looked forward each day to the end of the day when I could read it in bed, and I was quite sad when I finished it -- I wanted it to go on forever. It's that good.

Lastly, there is no ego in this memoir.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alex H on 30 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a treat! One of the best books I have ever read. The author's writing style is masterful. Not a word is wasted and mere paragraphs make you feel you went places you've never seen before. This is truly an example of how autobiographies should be written.

Truman Capote once said: "To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the inner music that words make". Well, Rupert Everett is a symphony conductor!

This book is funny and sad, at the same time exhilarating and depressing. It is a whirlwind of emotions, never even nearing the precipice of pathetic. The author bares his soul, never judging or taking sides. I like watching you in the movies Mr. Everett, but for the sake of posterity please stop acting and spend the rest of your life writing!
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback
An enjoyable read for those who like celebrity gossip, especially when so much is unflattering. Great, too, for those who relish flamboyant accounts of sex, drink, drugs and general decadence.

Rupert Everett has known the red carpet and acclaim. Much of his life, though, has featured banana skins - including films never to be shown. Here such banana skins are described with relish. Vivid pictures abound of larger than life characters, many seemingly on self-destruct. Tellingly he strips away showbiz's glittering facade, to expose a world of posturing and pretence - talent no guarantee of fame; fame most certainly no guarantee of talent.

Occasionally he writes with genuine affection - as about troubled Paula Yates, she rendered yet more unstable on learning her father was Hughie Greene. Out come Everett's claws: Greene "a macabre TV monster with the cheery bedside manner of a killer gynaecologist".

Graphically he describes memorable experiences all over the world. Russia when in poverty and turmoil. India with so many rats out at night the ground seemed to move. He was in New York when the twin towers plunged, in Miami when Hurricane Wilma struck. Although described as "the second most difficult celebrity they had ever had", he was deeply affected by the suffering in Ethiopia - going on to raise much money to help the victims.

Narcissistic and proud of it, Rupert Everett revels in his sexuality and flaunts his life style - mindful of where it may lead. Many around him became affected by AIDS - some off to Miami to die "if not with dignity, at least with a tan".

There are laughs but also much that disturbs and saddens - not least little evidence of anybody who seems truly happy. So many seem to be living dangerously on the edge.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 Jan. 2007
Format: Hardcover
From treading the boards of London's West End to riding on the glamour of Hollywood, Rupert Everett's insightful but somewhat unfocused autobiography not only illuminates much about the worlds of both theatre and film, but also paints a portrait of a life that has certainly been lived to the fullest.

Through the highs and lows, we follow Rupert on his journey as an actor and as a type of psuedo-party boy as he has spent most of the last twenty years hobnobbing with the rich and famous. The journey starts when young Rupert views the biggest pair of curtains in the world when as a child his mother takes him to the cinema to see Mary Poppins.

Not only does Rupert fall in love with Julie Andrews, but also realizes that something changed, "a giant and deranged ego has been born." We also get a vivid description of first day at Farleigh House, an upper-class boarding school where as a soft and vulnerable child he endured the "bullying and beatings." This was also where got his first major role as an actor, playing Titania, Queen of the Fairies.

Drama school in London is also synonymous with his first glimmerings of gay life when he stumbles upon a leather bar in Earls Court, with its "smoky haze of construction workers, cowboys, and other clanking, squeaking leather-clad men." This is followed by a three-month sojourn in Paris where at a nightclub he stumbles into Yves Saint Laurent, sitting with Rudolf Nureyev, Andy Warhol and Catherine Deneuve, "polished and beautiful and in the peak of their form, lighting the club with their worship.
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