This is the story of Sebastian Horsley's life. Growing up at High Hall, in Hull, with his alcoholic mother, who regularly attempted suicide, his stepfather, a cult member dressed in orange, and his father, a crippled millionaire, Sebastian Horsley couldn't wait to leave home. Searching for happiness, meaning and a good outfit he embarked on a doomed career as a punk guitarist, had a stormy relationship with a notorious Scottish gangster, enjoyed a wildly successful period as a stock-market entrepeneur and experienced a near fatal stint as a shark-hunter. Sebastian charts his years as a dandy, an artist, a male escort and a brothel connoisseur. There are the love affairs, with Rachel 1 and Rachel 2, and a harrowing descent into heroin and crack addiction. DANDY IN THE UNDERWORLD evokes his desperate attempts to get clean, culminating in his crucifixion in the Phillippines. Sure to shock and surprise, Sebastian Horsley recounts his story with excruciating self-knowledge and a savage wit.
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(199mm x 130mm x 23mm)
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
Country of Publication:
US Kirkus Review »
A guide to supremely selfish hedonism. Born into a British family of lazy wealth and contemptuous privilege, Horsley had little use when growing up for, well, anything. His father, a millionaire businessman and paraplegic, never realized just how wonderful a boy Sebastian was. His mother, a dark empress of well-announced and dramatically failed suicide attempts, is charitably described by her son as "about as useful as a nun's tit." So Horsley's life began in a state of decrepit aristocracy so Grand Guignol it was only a couple of murders and an incestuous romance away from a V.C. Andrews novel. He dawdled through an expensive education, wasted on someone more interested in imitating idols like Marc Bolan and Johnny Rotten. A few failed bands and a serious drug habit later, he fell in with Jimmy Boyle, a cheerfully psychopathic Scottish murderer who thoroughly charmed the Guardian-reading intelligentsia with his tale of supposed personal reform. While ostensibly running a criminal-rehab organization with Boyle, Horsley indulged in some serious self-destruction, including a stint as one of Boyle's many not-so-willing sexual partners. He wasn't having much luck figuring out what to do with his life, which he describes here in a seemingly inexhaustible flow of knotty, bitter one-liners, doled out every several paragraphs. ("Dandyism is a lie which reveals the truth and the truth is that we are what we pretend to be.") He finally bottomed out in the last, worst resort of the work-averse narcissist: performance art. At least the supremely self-obsessed and hateful Horsley has the good manners not to leave readers on a note of false uplift. This is one dandy who will go sneering into the grave, bitching from beyond about the quality of guests at the funeral service. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Sebastian Horsley
Sebastian Horsley has done just about everything you could ever think of. Incredibly, he is still alive.