Red Carpets And Other Banana Skins Paperback – 5 Jul 2007
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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 Nivens classic autobiography The Moons 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). Everetts 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 authors 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
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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best autobiographies I've ever read. Everett's life is incredible and fascinating. He has intriguing anecdotes and stories of interactions with many iconic people, and... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
A quite fascinating read, once I got into it. I briefly wondered if it was just going to be a series of name dropping, but RE really grew on me, courtesy of his self deprecating... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Misc
well written and Rupert is not afraid to admit his own flaws as well as those of the many people he has known in his life.Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Disappointed,chapters very long,sometimes rambling. Some interesting parts but mainly boring. I expected it to be more entertaining. Hard to followPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
Extremely entertaining book but the stupid queen doesn't know the difference between Car Wash & Bad Girls.Published 6 months ago by D. J. Wedgwood
I haven't been able to get all the way through it, I gave up. I found it not very amusing or interesting and very self-indulgent. Read morePublished 12 months ago by puffpuff