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Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins Paperback – 5 Jul 2007

4.1 out of 5 stars 130 customer reviews

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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 (130 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 68,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Wow, what an amazing read this was. I bought the book because I was intrigued by the blurb on the back cover, which indicated that it offered more than the nauseating self-congratulation you usually get with autobiographies. I was not disappointed. This is a thoroughly engrossing read from start to finish. Rupert doesn't spare anyone, least of all himself, and treats us to some genuine revelations, such as his liaison with Paula Yates, what it's really like to work with Madonna or visit Elizabeth Taylor etc. The quality of writing is also superb, way better than most celebrity offerings. Sometimes moving, often salacious, frequently witty, always completely engaging - very much like the man himself. I couldn't put it down and am now praying earnestly that Rupert is already writing a sequel.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being about the same age as the author, I started out on this depressed at the thought he had had the most remarkably exciting life and met all sorts of remarkable people. As I progressed I changed my views and decided I was overjoyed at the comparative ordinariness of my life - Everett comes over as a preening poppinjay on the cutting edge of narcissism, a merciless harpie who lands on people and places and drains them dry before scuttling off to drain some other reservoir of what passes for goodwill in the thespian world of greasepaint and footlights.

Everett doesn't come across as likeable. He's a melodramatic and posturing egotist with moments of absurd petulance coupled with occasional moments of sensitive and subtle insights. You won't be able to put this book down. His life seems to have been an endless cavalcade of Catholicism, cocaine, suicides, drama queens, fashion victims and creepy weirdoes all of who seem to inhabit a world made up only of the West End, Paris, the South of France and Los Angeles, with occasional forays into the wilderness beyond. Everett pursues his acting career by being pushy, selfish and fantastically insensitive.

The whole thing is conducted against the ghastly background of the 1980s and 90s and its sartorial horrors - a kind of utterly aimless and futile existence during which he moves from one 'inseparable' friend to another, leaving ruin behind him. Desperate, truly desperate.

Some of his pen portraits are brilliant, like the moment when he was knocked aside by a pack of photographers snapping away at the young Lady Diana Spencer just after the news of her liaison with Prince Charles had been made public.
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