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Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins: The Autobiography, by Rupert Everett

Red Carpets & Other Banana Skins

The whimsical musical introduction to each disk of this audio book sets the tone for the delightful experience of getting to know Rupert Everett. Perhaps best known as Julia Robert's gay friend in My Best Friend's Wedding, Rupert Everett shows himself to be a witty, articulate observer of humankind. Born to an affluent couple in Great Britain, Rupert attended private schools until he convinced his parents to let him abandon academia in favor of a career on the stage. Even a child, Rupert recognized that his preferences differed from those of most of the boys around him. There is a very funny scene where he salvages one of his mother's discarded skirts and dances around as his idol, Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins.

Rupert has been befriended by many literary and theatrical celebrities over the last four decades. He tells of time spent with Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger and Madonna in as casual a manner as the rest of us might describe a high school club meeting. He uses the English language the way a gifted artist would use a palate of fresh oil colors and a blank canvas. When he describes the green room of a Glasgow theater as a place where "one could score anything from drugs to a washing machine," he not only paints the picture, but he suggests the smell of the paint.

This audio book was so enjoyable that it invites periodic rehearing. Rupert Everett's informed views of a vast range of diverse environments, from a traditional English upbringing, to life on the streets to celebrity acclaim are presented in matter of fact, kindhearted prose. I found myself laughing out loud at some of his improbable, but expressive similes and metaphors. Aware and accepting of his own shortcomings, he is able to point out others' weaknesses without seeming spiteful or unkind. He sounds like the kind of concerned, supportive, funny companion anyone would want to have, so it's no wonder that he was able to fill his entertaining audio book with so many anecdotes about famous friends and colleagues.

Ruth Mormon

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