Jim's Reviews > You Cannot Live as I Have Lived and Not End Up Like This

You Cannot Live as I Have Lived and Not End Up Like This by Terence Blacker
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's review
Nov 26, 10

bookshelves: autobiography
Read in August, 2008

I started this thinking “Who was Willie Donaldson?” and was enticed by the promise of a tale of wit, sex, drugs and London in the swinging sixties as seen through the eyes and experience of one of its most colourful characters. I didn’t get it. What I got was what felt like an insider’s nudge nudge, do-you-know-what (who) -he’s-doing-now type of an affair, where the biographer was too close to the subject to be really salacious or spiteful. Half way through and I still hadn’t a clue who the guy was and what made him attract the attentions and people that he did (Carly Simon looked worth one all the same). Worse, I could care less. He was a ponce, in a kind of Carry On film way, a drug addict, but who in media London wasn’t, an eccentric and an oddity, but I couldn’t warm to him much. So, on running for a taxi early on a Monday morning, I spent a frantic two minutes searching the bookshelves for something to get my teeth into and thanked my selection of John Le Carre for providing it.
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