Nasty: My Family And Other Glamorous Varmints — Simon Doonan

The book that spawned the TV sit com Beautiful People.   I don’t watch hardly any TV shows as 99% are utter crap: Beautiful People was well in the 1%.

So how did the book compare to the TV show?

Superbly.

I would definitely suggest to anyone thinking about reading this book to watch the TV show first, as i can’t see it being as good watching it afterwards.   The book has so much more of Simon’s life in it and there are so many more characters and escapades from his childhood that were left out of the TV show and if you read the book first you’ll probably end up getting grumpy that some of the characters and escapades in the book aren’t in the TV show.

That’s not to say the TV show is bad, it’s not, it’s superb, but in order to make a good sit-com out of this book there had to be a few characters left out and certain characters that were left in have been changed somewhat.

Anyways, enough of that, just go watch the TV show and have a good laugh knowing you’ve got a lot more to read about afterwards for desert.

My first Simon Doonan book, and it certainly won’t be my last.   He’s a really good writer.   Thanks for the giggles and laughs, Simon.

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Shortly after i wrote the above review i received James Clear’s The 3-2-1 Newsletter which had the following quote in it:

Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler Ross on how beautiful people are made:

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.   These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.   Beautiful people do not just happen.

Source: Death: The Final Stage of Growth

PS.   Do consider signing up for The 3-2-1 Newsletter — it’s really good — and don’t forget to read James’ book, Atomic Habits.

Simon’s Page

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My Twenty Years of Racing — Juan Manuel Fangio

Sometimes a book appears in a charity shop that one just can’t resist.

Yes, a real paper and card book, made out of trees and stuff, i actually own one!!!

Juan’s Page

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The Autobiography of a Super-Tramp — W. H. Davies

My school house master, Peter Forest, who was also my maths teacher, one day stated in front of the whole class that i’d either grow up to be the next Einstein or a tramp, and that he feared it would most probably be the latter.   Suffice it to say, i never did get around to doing that degree in theoretical physics.

So when i found this book on Amazon it reminded me of Peter Forest and his condemnation of my future and was certainly instrumental in my purchase.   I wasn’t disappointed, so thanks Peter.

The strange thing was the timing, as i let the “Infinite Improbability Drive” always select my next book from “The Pile” and it’s only been a couple of books since i finished Into The Wild, about Chris McCandless, AKA, Alexander Supertramp.   This book certainly flows nicely on from that.   It makes me wonder if Chris had actually read this amongst all the other books mentioned in his story.

William covers his adventures as a tramp during the late 1800’s, where he ventures far and wide.   The funniest thing for me was that he was a trustifarian.   I had no idea that these creatures existed back in the 1800, but it’s certainly true in William’s case, and he even admits it in the book.

When his grandmother died, instead of willing him her property, which she knew he would squander rather quickly, she instead put it into trust from which he was given an allowance.   So off he goes to America, tramping around, living on hand outs and goodwill, while all the time his weekly allowance from his trust fund is being saved up for his return.   And he can return at any time, by working cattle ships from Baltimore, and even getting paid while doing so.

Even later on when he gets back the England, he continues to drop out into his tramping lifestyle while his trust fund rebuilds his bank account in order to fund his next adventure.   I wonder if William was the original trustifarian, were there others before him?

Without a doubt, a very good inside look into the mind and lifestyle of the typical trustifarian.   But, on top of that, it’s a very revealing look into this odd sub-culture of the underclass of the age and the lifestyles they lead and how they managed to support themselves.   Although, one can’t really get away from realising that most of these people were simply down where they were due to alcoholism, with every opportunity of spending any penny they managed to accrue on getting drunk always eagerly taken — no, nothing much changes.

Anyways, an enlightening piece of history of the Victorian age seen from a very different view point to the normal history books and biographies.

William’s Page

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