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on 5 April 2016
Oh dear, painful yet amusing in parts, especially when Sebastian Horsley out-Donaldsoned Donaldson. Author occasionally seems bewildered that a crack-addicted, fetishistic voyeur has behaved in unexpected fashion, a little ungentlemanly perhaps? Crack addict, all bets are off. Nothing is too extreme, expect everything. Make your excuses and leave asap
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on 28 February 2014
Hilarious. So much so I looked into buying the Henry Root Letters which I remember from the 80s but it's obviously out of print as it's horrendously expensive to buy on Amazon. Will just have to keep an eye out for it in secondhand bookshops or in libraries.
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on 5 November 2011
This is a thorough-going well researched piece of writing from a great journalist, and a warts and all presentation . Willie seems to have been a very complex character fairly lacking in commonsense and stability, but an ability to charm a wide circle of diverse people. I think his writing in the Henry Root phase of his output to be the funniest in the language, and Terence Blacker covers all known aspects of Willie's work. A first-class job, moving and enjoyable.
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on 20 March 2012
You would have to know something about this very curiuos man to fully appreciate his eccentricity.

Ultimately a futile life but for any student of the 50's and 60's including those of a certain age it is an entertaining and enlightening read.
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on 16 October 2014
Good read but written after his death by friend. not quite as salacious and disgraceful as I had hoped but that's just me...
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on 7 February 2012
I was driven to read this after reading Brewer's Rogues, Villains and Eccentrics and wanting to know more about the author.

In some ways, I wish I hadn't; although Terence Blacker writes beautifully, it's about a failure of a life, somebody who managed to turn most of what they touched into ruins. I was reminded of a biography I read of Peter Sellers years ago, that posited he was a man incapable of joy and quite wicked; poor Willie, with his expertise at self-sabotage, seems a kindred spirit. Donaldson seems like a quite awful person, and yet at the same time a great talent that never made enough of himself.

However, it's definitely worth a read, if only to understand how money, crack cocaine and prostitutes can't always bring you happiness. For further reading on the joys of cocaine, you could do worse than The Death of Marco Pantani: A Biography
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on 1 September 2014
Hassle free purchase, how it should be. Thanks.
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on 21 April 2015
Well-written and compelling biography of the man who brought us the "Henry Root Letters" in the 1980s.
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on 4 December 2014
Brilliantly funny biog - well worth a read -
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on 2 April 2015
Good
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