Book Review: Sebastian Horsley, ‘Dandy in the Underworld’

Dandy in the UnderworldRecently banned from touring on the release his book in the US, Sebastian Horsley has attacked the world with an onslaught of hilarity and honesty titled Dandy in the Underworld: An Unauthorized Autobiography. A dandy is someone who places particular importance on his physical appearance but also focuses on refined language and leisurely hobbies. In the case of Horsley, those "leisurely hobbies" include drugs, alcohol and his self-described reliance on prostitutes. As with most memoirs, the book describes his youth, his aforementioned "hobbies" and his pursuit of art & music in sometimes painful detail, including his trip to the Philippines in 2000 to be crucified. Video of the Philippines adventure appears on his MySpace page and was the basis for an art exhibit in England; inspiration for that exhibit was the reason for his request to be crucified. No matter your feelings regarding his lifestyle, the book is witty, insightful and beautifully written; Horsley has an amazing gift for language, the hallmark of a true dandy. Whether you believe the stories are real or not, the book is one of the best reads of the last decade. And, in case you were wondering, the official reason Horsley was banned from the US was for moral turpitude. We should all be so lucky to be banned from anywhere for so lofty a reason. (HarperCollins Canada)

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