Redeeming Features, By Nicholas Haslam
Sunday 21 November 2010
The interior designer, journalist and socialite Nicky Haslam has met almost everyone who's anyone. (He must have inherited the knack from his parents: his dad was a friend of John Maynard Keynes and LS Lowry; his mum had a fling with JB Priestley). This memoir takes us from his childhood (polio left him bedridden for three years) and Eton schooldays to his triumphant entry into the glittering social citadels of London and New York.
At the age of 15, he went to a party chez Tallulah Bankhead. She is the first in a line of famous acquaintances who include Cecil Beaton, Joan Crawford, WH Auden, Lucian Freud, Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger, Cole Porter, Jackie Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe.
The encounters are often brief (Haslam met Elvis, but Elvis was half asleep at the time), while characters who we are told became great friends barely reappear. Every page is stuffed with proper nouns. The exuberance is enjoyable at first, but the endless parade of famous names palls. This isn't so much name-dropping as name-carpet-bombing.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Artists unveils new exhibition inspired by Hastings beachart
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Malaysian cyclist could face disciplinary action after 'Save Gaza' gloves protest
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
- 4 McDonald’s removes chicken nuggets from the menu in Hong Kong amid major food scare
- 5 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
Fifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage from US parenting groups
Guardians Of The Galaxy, review: Marvel-lite movie feels half-hearted
Fifty Shades of Grey film stills
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia