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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Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel — Ruth Hogan

Having totally enjoyed Ruth’s first two books i had fairly high expectations of this, and i wasn’t disappointed.

Once more Ruth dives into sensitive topics and tells a great story with not only compassion but also a wonderful touch of humour in all the right places.

Written from the point of view of Tilly and Tilda.   Tilly, the little girl who finds out her dad just died after he went away to work and Tilda, the grown woman whose mum just died and left Tilda her diaries of what really happened to her dad all those years ago — and a simple note saying “Forgive me”.   Back and forth we go, a chapter at a time, between Tilly back then and Tilda now, and it works amazingly well as, piece by piece, Tilly’s story gets told and Tilda’s truth gets revealed.

And what a wonderful place the Paradise Hotel must have been for a child to live, if only for a while.   A delightful den of loveable, eccentric crackpots: “Everyone there had been cracked in the kiln in one way or another.”

Ruth is a wonderful writer who never fails to conjure up the most wonderful cast of characters to tell the stories about the damaged souls that life creates.   I do hope for many more books from Ruth.

Ruth’s Page

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Less – Andrew Sean Greer

Around the world in 80-ish days with a turning 50, gay, struggling writer, recently dumped by his much younger lover, having a mid life crisis: that about is what is at this book’s heart.

Another Kindle 99 pence book that just drew me to give it a go and while gay fiction is not my normal kind of literature i really enjoyed it.

If i had to compare it to anything i would say it’s like a gay version of The Little Paris Bookshop, but instead of our protagonist sailing off down the waterways of France, Arthur Less goes on a merry go round trip around the world as an excuse not to go to his ex-lover’s wedding.   Well written, really enjoyable, with a good ending to finish it off nicely.

Oh, and it even won the “2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction”: if that don’t convince you its a good book then probably nothing will.

Andrew’s Page

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