Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
A must-read memoir
on 4 November 2012
I first heard Rupert Everett reading excerpts from Vanished Years on Radio 4's book at bedtime and bought it straight away - it's great when an author reads his own work and he does it so well in this case, with the full array of American accents! Most of what I heard was the episode of the American sitcom which was hilarious - I imagined this was what the whole book was going to be. In fact it's so much more. It's not a linear actor's biography of all the funny or glamourous experiences he has had, as perhaps one might expect. It is funny and does recount glamourous parties like the party given by Tina Brown for Talk magazine on Statue of Liberty island in the twilight of the last century, to which Rupert accompanies Madonna.
An author can focus his attention on the superficial or something more profound. In this book Rupert manages to mix the two with a mastery of hand jumping back and forth in time and weaving these elements together with his stunning prose that makes it so much more than a 'romp.' It's about death and illusion. At one stage, after Natasha Richardson's funeral he walks back across a frozen Central Park "The lake is frozen. The city towers over the treetops, a galaxy of windows sparkling with life, while the dead whistle round the naked branches in the park below." It's about the contrast of what we think we are going to be or do and what we actually achieve. Speaking of Natasha, "Perhaps we were more alike than we cared to admit. Both of us dreamt, after all, of entirely different careers for ourselves than the ones we ultimately achieved. (She wanted to be Vivien Leigh and I wanted to be Montgomery Clift.)" It's about the passing of time and the coming to terms with who you are, in relation to your parents, your dreams, your friends, your lovers and yourself. Brilliant! Bravo Mr Everett! Encore!