Thursday, December 10, 2009

Raising Heck

"Hellraisers" is a new book that details how they did just that back in the good ol' days:
A book celebrating famously unrepentant drunks is a welcome surprise—at least to me. Like the rejuvenating martinis and blurry haze of cigarettes in "Mad Men," Robert Sellers's nostalgic "Hellraisers"— subtitled "The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O'Toole and Oliver Reed"—amounts to an unapologetic celebration of the plastered and the damned in our sanctimonious "Oprah" age of public confession and easy redemption.

Mr. Sellers, a British journalist, appears to have deftly culled various memoirs and articles for ripe anecdotes, and he has interviewed a number of eyewitnesses. The result is a very British book, whose tabloid relish for the boozy excesses of its unlikely quartet of star actors is marinated in the country's laddish pub culture. "Enjoy it," Mr. Sellers tells us breezily at the start. "They bloody well did."

Ha ha. Take that, you modern day amateurs.

My favorite line from the linked review:
At 77, Peter O'Toole is still half with us, I'm glad to say. And he's still happily unremorseful: "We weren't all brooding, introspective, addicted lunatics. And we weren't solitary, boring drinkers, sipping vodka alone in a room. No, no. no; we went out on the town, baby, and we did our drinking in public. We had fun!"

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