Simon Doonan’s childhood was a curious mix of small town boredom and bright light city dreams. Growing up in a working class area of Reading with the mad-cap Doonan clan – Mother Betty, Father Terry, sister Shelagh aka Slag, blind Aunt Phyllis, grandmother Narg and Grandfather DC – he yearned to get out and find the Beautiful People whom he imagined lived fabulous lives of glitz and glamour.
This is the charming and funny story of how Simon eventually finds a way out and escapes to London with best friend Biddie Biddlecombe. Along the way they stumble upon punks, drunks, ladies of the night, the long arm of the law and all sorts of camps, vamps and outrageous scamps.
But does he ever find the Beautiful People? Or are they the ones he left behind?
“That Simon Doonan is a writer with a flair for the clever aphorism and a trenchant wit is no surprise. But that he is also capable of telling a tremendously moving tale is something of a revelation… [This is] for anyone who has ever yearned to transcend their own beginnings. In other words, if you were ever younger than you are now, you must read this book.”
—David Rakoff, author of Fraud
“In between dressing windows at Barneys New York and working as a VH1 talking head, Doonan has found time to write a truly hilarious memoir… More than simply telling it how it was, Doonan also paints a gilded, crested, feathered, sequined, and altogether over-the-top picture of how it came to be that this tiny, confused British child — whose only dream in life was to become one of ‘the Beautiful People’ — managed to achieve his goal.”
—Whitney Pastorek, Entertainment Weekly
“At last: a childhood memoir that’s about coming to terms with fabulousness, rather than incest or binge drinking. Who knew that Simon — or anyone — could write about growing up in a gray corner of England with as much wit, charm, and dead-on smarts as he brings to his chronicles of the luxe life in Manhattan?”