Will Morrissey Have The Last Laugh – Again?

 ‘Has any book in recent memory not actually about wizards provoked so much interest?’ Mark Simpson on the most eagerly-anticipated music biography ever. C4 News, 14 October, 2013 MORRISSEY HAS ALWAYS enjoyed the last laugh. His entire career has been based on it. Back in the 1980s, when he was in his pomp as the pompadoured front man of The Smiths – and loudly rejecting everything the 1980s stood for – Morrissey was asked if he thought that success was a form of revenge. “Absolutely and […]

Isherwood & Bachardy’s Furry Love Letters

Mark Simpson reads the collected love letters of ‘Dobbin’ & ‘Kitty’ and gets covered in hair (The Independent 20/9/13) Contrary to what the pop songs tell you, the language of love is not universal. It really isn’t the same the world over or even on the same street. Everyone’s love affair is utterly unintelligible to everyone else. It’s perhaps the whole point of having one. Which can make reading other people’s love letters a baffling if not slightly pointless experience. Katherine Bucknell’s The Animals (Chatto & Windus), a […]

Rupert Everett’s Flabby Bottom

I’m currently devouring Rupert Everett’s delicious second volume of memoirs Vanished Years, straight after finishing the first, Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins. Though it should probably be read slowly, reclining on a queen-sized bed in a silk dressing gown and slippers – as if you were eating very expensive, very naughty bitter-sweet chocolate liqueurs. It’s scandalously funny. Everett writes like a dream, damn him. It’s always so annoying when people who have lived a full life doing something much more useful and lucrative than writing […]

Niall Ferguson: Butch or Bitch?

Niall Ferguson’s ‘The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World‘ reviewed by Mark Simpson  (Originally appeared in the Independent on Sunday, 2001) How sexy and right wing is the historian Niall Ferguson? It’s no idle question, since sexy right wing historians can gain fame and fortune, that’s to say – money and power – in the modern world. The first name is a good start, reading as it does like a Celtic battle-cry. And he’s young. In fact, the half-profile picture of him on […]