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The Beautiful People

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  299 ratings  ·  35 reviews
A wickedly funny memoir with echoes of David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs, Beautiful People (originally published in hardcover as Nasty) is now a BBC comedy hit series from the producer of Ab Fab and The Office.

Proclaimed "the most brilliant, brash thing in type" by Liz Smith, Simon Doonan's saucy prose has established him as an emerging star among literary humorists.
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Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published (first published May 1st 2008)
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Doug Beatty
I picked this one up because I have been watching the tv show "Beautiful People" on logo. Boy, the TV show takes some liberties with the book, it has a few basic plot points but that is about it!

But the book was a light and funny read, and has some vignettes about Doonan's life. It is not concentrated on his childhood like the TV show, but instead offers some tales from his childhood, his mother Betty and her large hairdo, his Father Terry and the homemade wine, his grandmother Narg, his schizo
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M.
Completely by accident I came across the TV series called "The Beautiful People". After initial consternation, I quickly got engrossed into the story of a little aesthete from Reading who is dreaming of moving to London and meeting the beautiful people. I didn't know who Simon Doonan was but I decided to buy the book which was adapted into that series.
The first thing we learn is that Simon Doonan is much older than the characters from the BBC production and that there is a distinct story from w
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Catherine Wynne
Its so weird--I've seen Simon Doonan on TV and thought he was a bit--well, kind of smug and kinda snobby--maybe its just the way the Brits are..but since I'm obsessed with fashion and the fact he has the best job in the world--i.e. the Barney's gig, I pre-ordered "The Asylum" and decided to to some reading of his other books.
I am soooooooooo happy I read "The Beautiful People"!!!
If you have any sort of familial dysfunction this is definitely the book to read! Wow! Mr. Doonan is just so wickedly
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George
A fun book of essays about his eccentric family and friends. I spent much time chuckling. Became interested after seeing the UK TV show based on this book. However, the show is updated to the 1990's where as the book is set firmly in the 1960's and 1970's. Also, the UK of Doonan's youth and his friends and family are all obviously white vs the multi-cultural, multi-racial update afforded by the series. Still both are fun.
Alix Monty
This book has all the elements that a drag-hag like me craves, and the writing is pleasantly passable to my classically-trained eye. In fact, you have to read it with a British accent. Doonan is a surprisingly excellent writer when you consider that he spent his life actually living, and not just cavorting in his avant-garde imagination. Being a member of a similar class of the fabulous poor and working-class club kids, I appreciated the esprit de corps inspired by tales of his childhood surroun ...more
Juan Manuel Perez Pelayo
Simon Doonan, Barneys Window Display Designer, blogger of the Barneys babble and fashion extraordinaire, narrates his own memoir, in a very entertaining manner. Its personal, yet so relateable. It truly captured what I feel whenver I am in any of my cumbia-filled family reuninons in Guadalajara, where my mom is dancing around with the kids, my aunt cracking up about anything and every idiosyncratic trait that families have. Doonan is honestly an inspiration to anyone who aims for better, and its ...more
Claire
If I could give it 4.5, I would.

Made me laugh out loud often. Often crazy situations viewed with humor and a light touch. Stories from throughout the author's life, happily skipping from one age to another and back (the author does like to skip after all).

Floor pillows, mentally ill relatives, "plaid bondage trousers," window dressing, and cool parents to a gay kid born in 1952: what more could you want?

If you liked "Running With Scissors" by Augusten Burroughs, I bet you'll really enjoy this. I
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Shannon Myers
I love Simon Doonan's writing. I strive to be like him-- hilarious and relentlessly sunny.
Marley
didn't get too far...just not my cup of tea. I enjoy a funny memoir but I just didn't thing it was worth continuing.
Sister Morticia
LOVED this book!! I actually cried with laughter reading parts of it. Just a beautifully written, heartfelt autobiographical book.
Goose
Much of this book is either funny or amusing and I can see why they did a television show loosely based upon it. I never really cared too much for Simon Doonan when seeing him on televison and toward the end of this "memoir" I had filled up enough on his authorial voice to last two "memoirs" full. I am glad that my friend, who sent me the book to read, liked it enough to suggest it to me. Add a star to my review if you are a Simon Doonan fan or if your home is decorated by Jonathan Adler.
Peter Millane
As a huge fan of the television series I was excited to read this and I was not disappointed. I would give it 5 stars if not for the chapter about Mundo.

I love that they were able to distill the essence of Simons life and give it a modern twist to create a show that would resonate with younger viewers. Even though Many of the historical references are before my time, Simons ability to paint a hilarious scene is wonderful.

Will recommend this to a few friends.
Mike Jensen
Absolutley loved this memoir. The author is the inspiration for the BBC comedy "Beautiful People". There were only 2 short seasons of the show, but it chronicles his early teen years in Reading, England and I laugh my head off every time I see it. This guy has led such an interesting and quirky life, surrounded by odd ball family, friends, and experiences. Lots of references to gay culture that people may not understand.
Carolyn
Having always considered Doonan a kindred spirit, I had high expectations for this -- and I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. A few truly funny bits, and a few dear and moving love letters to his friends -- but there was something off in the writing/presentation of this. I'm impressed that he has other books -- and I would say that reading those others, like these, on a plane might be perfection.
Nick
Love, love, love...daughter! Not quite a mirror to the BBC TV series x2 I loved but a beautiful compliment.
David
Very different from what I was expecting having watched the TV series. Overall it had the same spirit but a different era means completely different anecdotes. Generally very entertaining.
Gypsy3x4
This book is amazing!
One of my new favorites. If you love Bill Bryson's memoir you'll love this book.
It's different than the show, but that's why it's good. You can enjoy both things.
Sephie
Very camp memoir of a lad growing up in the late 50s (as I did), realising he was 'different' and his search for the 'Beautiful People' who populated the 60s.
Very amusing read.
Josh L Martin
This book is seriously funny, laugh out loud funny. Because of this book, I had to go and discover all things Simon Doonan. Witty, charming, and hilarious!
Jon
Throughly fun and enjoyable from the opening sentence to the end. I would love to see the British Comedy Series based on this book...could be great.
Alvin
Doonan's subtle wit, off-beat anecdotes, and delightfully daffy worldview make this memoir a pleasure from start to finish.
Lauren
I am not sure where I got this book recommendation but I had it on a list. It was so bad, I couldn't finish it.
Cindy
Mr. Doonan is as witty as her window displays. A fun, humorous read that helped take me away on my rustic vacation.
Cynthia
Light hearted look at his life with the "surprise" ending that we are all beautiful people. Loved it
Vance
Much better than the TV series based on it that's currently airing in the USA. A funny but solid memoir.
Mary DeYoe
Oct 22, 2009 Mary DeYoe is currently reading it
I'm not terribly far into this book, but I was expecting it to be much more flamboyant, fabulous.
Joseph
A very funny and well written memoir. Don't expect it to match the storyline of the Logo TV series.
Jessica
why did this book get such rave reviews? it boggles my mind. FAIL
Drew
This wasn't quite as hilarious as I'd hoped but it was a fun read.
Peggy Parsons
Rather than a "hilarious memoir" it struck me as sad and bizarre.
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Simon Doonan (born 1952) is the Creative Ambassador-at-Large of the New York City-based clothing store Barneys.

Source: Wikipedia.
More about Simon Doonan...
Eccentric Glamour: Creating an Insanely More Fabulous You Wacky Chicks: Life Lessons from Fearlessly Inappropriate and Fabulously Eccentric Women The Asylum: A collage of couture reminiscences...and hysteria Nasty: My Family and Other Glamorous Varmints Gay Men Don't Get Fat

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