Melanie's Reviews > Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography

Dandy in the Underworld by Sebastian Horsley
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's review
Jul 27, 08

did not like it
bookshelves: abandoned
Recommended to Melanie by: R. M.
Read in July, 2008

I'm fairly compulsive about finishing books that I'm reading, but even at the halfway point, I'm just not interested in this. (And that's even after taking the book with me on several long-ish train trips, with no other reading material at hand--I think I napped instead.)

One problem is an entirely personal one, and to which I will freely admit: I'm not a huge fan of the memoir genre. Other people's lives, no matter how much crazy nonsense has transpired in them, hold less of a fascination for me than the stuff that people conjure up. I will say it loud, say it proud: gimme fiction.

But the other problem is that Horsley crams an average of three quips into every paragraph. The genuinely funny remarks, the really witty and Wildean observations, are diluted by his insistence on throwing everything at the wall and hoping that something, anything sticks.

I can see how other readers would dig it, and I suppose that the strange mix of bravado and insecurity that comes across in the prose conveys something about the performative/emotional space of the dandy figure, but I can't force myself to power through to the end of this one.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by R. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R. *spits coffee; at 5:44 p.m. in the afternoon, no less*

But...but he's a dandy! And he's from the underworld!


Melanie Oh, we're all dandies here. And what makes this dandy different from all other dandies? Aside from a book deal, I mean.

message 3: by R. (new) - rated it 5 stars

R. Horsley's taste in music would make Chuck Klosterman salivate.

message 4: by Melanie (last edited Jul 27, 2008 10:53PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Melanie I like to believe that both Chuck Klosterman and I are both too busy still salivating over "Crazy in Love." Didn't he write something about how that song was so amazing that he wanted to die? I listened to it yesterday and all I could think about was how brilliant it was. And then I wanted to die a little too.

Tosh With all due respect, I love memoirs. And I don't look at it as 'non-fictional' reading at all. It's the tone of the voice or writer that's important to me.

And Melanie I respect your views and comments on this particular book, but personally I really enjoyed it and couldn't put it down. Maybe because i am obsessed with London street culture. Also when I first read it I thought for sure that this person doesn't even exist. Sort of a JT LeRoy type of situation.

But recently walking in Soho I did see him! Just like the book. Right out of the page onto the street right in front of me. i think I originally gave this book four stars.

Michael Martin You should have given it a chance. And I really don't understand rating something you haven't read. I'd hardly trust a film critic who gave up on a film. If I stop reading something, I don't think it's fair to "rate" it.

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