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2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
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on 4 August 2007
When it's raining in Aberystwyth and you're stuck in your caravan, desperate for something meaty to read, and all the other in vogue autobiographies have proven too frothy, then reach for this. It has bite, it has depth, it is incredibly well-written. This is the story of the Profumo family , and it's more than just THAT scandal. It's the story of a marriage, a family, politics, the world of showbiz, upper class mores and so much more. I bought it on a whim, and was glad I did. It has been my read of the summer.
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on 23 April 2014
I purchased this book in 2007 and I have just read it. I was too young to actually remember it unfolding but anyone who has had a bit of education would find it hard not to have heard the name Profumo...I loved the title which suggested that the author was not going to be too sober about it. Also this is the only Profumo side of the story. At first I found the author rather pretentious in the way he was littering every page with Latin phrases and classical and literary references. There was no way I could enjoy the book my constantly having to open a dictionary and so I have underlined the words I don't know and will look them up later and maybe I will learn something . But I am very sure that most of them were totally unnecessary and I wonder who he was trying to prove himself to.

Anyway I warmed to him as the book went on and I felt that he was being incredibly open and honest about things from his perspective. It was also an insight into upper class lifestyle. Unfortunately or fortunately the Profumo family will never see this story die. Valerie appeared to be the most complex character whereas Jack Profumo himself was almost too simple and uncomplicated to be the central character. I really enjoyed reading the book and had a lot of sympathy for the author who seems to have learned quite well how to live with his name. I wonder what his views were on the latest Lloyd Webber show Stephen Ward the musical...I think it closed early!
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on 23 August 2014
After the author's novels this is a big disappointment. And not from the use of Latin or French in the English language; this is a feature of the language , especially popular with ex students of places like Eton or Rugby, and not difficult to read, really.

The problem is also only partly that the CK scandal actual events were very short term and very minor by world standards or that they occurred when the author was a small boy.

The real difficulty is that the author shows ,through interminable diary entries and letters in evidence, just how unpleasant and, yes, useless almost the whole cast of people were. Shallow is not a strong enough word.These were the sort of people whose wealth and work (or lack thereof) allowed for regular trips away and evenings out to do nothing in particular and summers matching their wits against the intellectual abilities of fish or snipe. Definitely not the kind of people who had to buy their own furniture.

One result being both men and women who felt the need to f@#* any attractive person they met. Probably just an extension of the thrill of the chase brought on by an underlying boredom and uselessness. Who cares if Profumo senior bonked Christine Keeler, but really he just tried to bonk anyone who he fancied, which does not show much respect for women or himself . Little things like cooking, cleaning or, dare one say it, working do not involve these people. Young David admits that neither of his parents had ever cooked a meal. You can reach a logical conclusion of this kind of thing where Prince Charles has to have someone to help him get dressed.

Worse still, the author shows that he has continued on this cycle of uselessness.

One shock is the description of Profumos life after CK rebuilding his reputation by charity work. Here again it becomes pretty clear that this wasn't a normal 9 to 5 job week in, week out. There are still lots of trips abroad and whole summers of The Sport. I would like to see his work record in hours and days before I gave him much credit for fund raising.

Also you never begin to have sympathy for Mrs Profumo who had her own record of affairs, lovers and abortions and whose stage reputation is based on the second line up cast of The King and I. The children are pushed off to boarding school (though joining parents to massacre wildlife in Scotland in the summer) increasing the emptiness and boredom at the heart of the family.

The book ends up as a massive argument against the Conservative Party and in favour of Scottish independence.
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on 4 April 2011
This book offers a view of the Profumo affair from the family's perspective, although it also covers the life stories of both of the author's parents. In that respect it is quite interesting and enjoyable. David Profumo, however, feels the need to include french phrases to describe many situations, and the translations are not included, which becames more and more irritating as the book progresses. He does however offer (in brackets) the little known fact that many Bangladeshis live in the east end of London! It also appears that Mr. Profumo was given a thesaurus for Christmas, judging by the inclusion of so many obscure words. In short, I think that this book would have benefited from a more robust editor.
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on 18 February 2011
David Profumos account of his parents marriage and his childhood is somewhat marred by his use of vocabulary and Latin quotations.Although it is very well written and the events of the swinging sixties scandal well covered,I couldn't help but be left with the impression that the author was more concerned with showing off his undoubtedly superior education.
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on 30 October 2009
Given the theme of the relationship between Valerie Hobson and John Profumo and the whole Profumo crisis it is extraordinary how dull this book is. What a shame. it is long-winded, chaotic, self-centred, pretentious and competes for worst book of the year. Don't waste your money
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