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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hughesie does it again.
Hughes is surely the least pretentious and most stylish of art critics. He deploys a marvellously eclectic vocabulary from polysyllabic latinism to salty demotic, spinning yarns that belong to someone who clearly has packed more into his (then 65) years than most. He has a fund of tales and reflection, beginning with his car crash, only then moving to his Catholic...
Published on 5 Jun. 2012 by Mr. G. Morgan

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3.0 out of 5 stars Outside battered, inside likewise
This book was advertised as in a very good condition - it wasn't. The cover was stained and peeling and it was a bit dog eared. I paid over £7.00 for it, quite a bit for a knackered old paperback. Contents? It's knackered old Robert Hughes at his best, irascible, carping and emotional, outspoken, miserable and introspective. I loved it.
Published 10 months ago by Catherine Copestake


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hughesie does it again., 5 Jun. 2012
By 
Mr. G. Morgan "wes" (Haywards Heath, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Things I Didn't Know (Paperback)
Hughes is surely the least pretentious and most stylish of art critics. He deploys a marvellously eclectic vocabulary from polysyllabic latinism to salty demotic, spinning yarns that belong to someone who clearly has packed more into his (then 65) years than most. He has a fund of tales and reflection, beginning with his car crash, only then moving to his Catholic childhood and up to his departure to American and fame.
He is sharp witted, self-aware and a gifted anecdotalist; and whilst one infers he has a decent sized ego, it never interferes with, in fact to some extent it makes, his criticism, refracted through his keen intellect and bolstered by a sense of the ridiculous essential to those dealing too in the sublime. This book is as rich and compelling a read as 'The Fatal Shore', itself a tour de force, and full of honesty, gusto and a fierce free will. Not a word of that appalling neologistic obscurantism that so often passes for criticism and no zeitgeisty genuflections before mammon and Conceptual Art here. Thank goodness, a rubbish-free book in all respects; utterly compelling and thus hard to put down.
Quite marvellous; you'd just LOVE to meet him!
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Things he does know, 22 Jun. 2008
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Ms. Ruth Slavid (London, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Things I Didn't Know (Paperback)
Knowledgable, erudite and very very funny. Hughes writes about his early experiences in the art world, but also about growing up in Australia, and apart his father's time as a hero of the World War One flying. It is packed with an eclectic mix of information and reminiscence - really solid research, lots of gossip and plenty of laughs - all made a joy to read because Hughes really knows how to write. From a terrible Christmas dinner to the floods of Florence, he moves jolts you from laughter to horror.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written memoir., 28 Feb. 2014
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Robert Hughes was undoubtedly one of the best writers on the History of Art and contemporary art & design. His critiques were always lucid and coherent, without resorting to obfuscating jargon, and so it is with this memoir. My only criticism would be that he has spent rather too long at the outset of the autobiography detailing the lives of his ancestors, but then that is often the case with this sort of endeavour. A thoroughly engaging read!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Outside battered, inside likewise, 8 July 2014
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This review is from: Things I Didn't Know (Paperback)
This book was advertised as in a very good condition - it wasn't. The cover was stained and peeling and it was a bit dog eared. I paid over £7.00 for it, quite a bit for a knackered old paperback. Contents? It's knackered old Robert Hughes at his best, irascible, carping and emotional, outspoken, miserable and introspective. I loved it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good book by a more or less self confessed elitist., 21 Nov. 2013
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I have read other books by him that Ive enjoyed very much, but didnt know anything about his personal life. This book brought a new dimention to the author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Book by recently deceased Australian writer, 15 July 2013
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Well written and absorbing account of writer's recovery from a horrific accident on a remote Australian highway and it's social and legal aftermath
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant..insightful, witty, 14 July 2014
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This review is from: Things I Didn't Know (Paperback)
Brilliant..insightful, witty, the autobiography of the 20th century's greatest art critic..unmissable
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6 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a stimulating memoir, 26 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Things I Didn't Know (Paperback)
a grumble thru the antipodean childhood, 60s london..italian art..
by a survivor...you can hear his voice in the writing..
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6 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Congealed fat? Tell us about it, Bob, 20 Aug. 2012
This review is from: Things I Didn't Know (Paperback)
'I doubt if I could recite more than snatches of them by now.' No worries, Bob. This exercise in turgidity, undoubtedly written to American commission ('the electric streetcar, known as a tram'; 'altar boys' asses'), is for acolytes only. I've the greatest respect for Hughes qua pundit and contrarian, but there's something coarse about the man; where Aussies are concerned give me poor, troubled Barbara Hanrahan, whom Hughes will never have met - though she, Hughes, Clive James, Richard Neville (of Oz fame) and of course the Sainted Germaine were of a generation - one whose like we shall not look upon again. 'But I digress'(p98). This is memoir as tombstone rather than literature - there is nothing to gladden the heart ('my operation' excepted) until p52, when we learn that Manfred von Richthofen (did you know the Red Baron was called Manfred, and his brother, apparently, Lothar? Funny how.. unmanly some German names are) 'wore his wool pyjamas under his flying suit, which at least made it easier to do a scramble in the morning', while Hughes's airman father, we are led to believe, wore six pairs of home-knitted socks - simultaneously. It could almost be Clive James talking, but perhaps, despite the fun title, memoir - that oddly constraining, tick-the-box terrain - is not Bob's comfort zone. (Was it even actually Clive's?) When he starts telling us about the characters in the Jungle Book* or the meaning of the Eucharist or why there's no u in Qantas you start to wonder what age-group or target audience he thinks he's addressing; when you hit *six* pages of bog standard Jesuit history you realise he's just getting payment by word-count and is as bored as we are. Chapter 3 tells us Hughes harbours 'a horror of congealed fat that persists to this day' (and recurs in Chapter 4). And there's another 292 pages to go - chapter 5 begins 'I have never been much of a joiner..' Aaagh! Make mine a double

* and then refers 16 pages later to Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book (oh, *that* Jungle Book!)
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Things I Didn't Know
Things I Didn't Know by Robert Hughes (Paperback - 27 Sept. 2007)
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