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on 6 January 2002
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's a funny, charming and very positive account of Quentin Crisp's unusual life in New York City. Although Crisp was in his seventies or eighties when he wrote these journals, he was remarkably active and alert. Given the writer's general unconventionality, one might expect that these journals would be shocking or risqué, but they are neither. Crisp is far too much of a gentleman for that.
After reading Resident Alien I felt better about the world, more tolerant towards others and better about myself. Quentin Crisp, who is now dead, had a special gift for cheering others up and for making the world seem like a less dreary place. This book is delightful.
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on 3 May 2009
And so, after his thoroughly entertaining and revealing book, The Naked Civil Servant, we find Mr Crisp entering the next significant period of his life.

Having made the extraordinary decision to leave England he found himself high and dry on American shores. This action is remarkable for he was living in a kind of self-imposed prison in London. Hardly daring to venture outside his room it was on only the assurance of an acquaintance that he might have a place to stay that he made him take this extraordinary leap of faith.

After being seriously let down he eventually found quarters similar to those he had enjoyed in England. An extremely cheap room - this time in downtown New York. And from there on his life changed for the better.

Resident Alien is unlike The Naked Civil Servant in that it's a loose collection of diary entries that serve as a kind of later autobiography. Still utterly absorbing and filled with Crisperanto it describes how the gay and artistic community accepted him wholeheartedly. He still got his share of crank calls, after all if his name was not in the telephone directory how would people be able to call him?

The film of his first book was known and he would swiftly become part of the 'scene'. Now something of a hero for gay rights he attended screenings, gave talks and was generally invited to all sorts of events across the United States on what he called the 'peanut and nodding racket'. That is to say those events provided food and with his failing hearing he could (on noisy events) resort to simply indicating his assent.

He was to appear in, or be the subject of, many films. He was to give performances in which he described his way of life, his life so far and his thoughts on life in general. Now, rather than people shutting him in, they now came to his door.

Resident Alien is filled with Mr Crisp's wit and charm and his effortless style will guide the reader to the last page all too easily. Entertaining and informative to the last I found this book easy to pick up again and again for the sheer joy of it all.

Those wishing to experience further should look to the recordings of the 'audiences' he gave in which he not only described his past but tackled issues presented to him by those bold enough to ask.

Quentin was not an eccentric but an individual. An individual with great experience, charm and intellectual dexterity. He was rightly considered a champion for gay rights but was actually so much more.
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on 10 February 2001
The epitome of English eccentric-ness, no wonder the US of A took him to their heart. Get this book and you will laugh...
The only sadness is the dear Quentin is no longer among us.
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on 21 October 2011
As much as I enjoyed the Naked civil Servant, and this is supposed to be a sequel,
I felt it wasn't as good, or as informative as the first book - it seemed to be full
of opinions about different things - it felt more a rliance on opinions than his experiences in New York.
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on 22 January 2015
It's more a shopping list of people and places he is invited to than a 'book'. As he freely admits he has no real talent or does anything and this comes through perfectly across 225 pages. It has a few moments of unintentional wit and insight but I suspect this book was generated simply because he was asked to do it, which also produced an opportunity to make a few dollars to support his minimalist lifestyle. All that said it's an undemanding read and a pleasant enough way to while away a few spare hours.
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on 12 September 2013
I love this book, very amusing, very dry. Bought it for her to cheer her up. She loved it too. Arrived promptly in excellent condition. Is now doing the rounds with her other friends.
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on 31 May 2015
Another witty and revealing autobiography from one of Englands great eccentrics, Not quite as good as the Naked Civil Servant , but a very good read all the same.
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on 15 July 2012
i got the book for my mum who is 81 years young,she said that she has not been able to put the book down,one of the best books she has had for a while.
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