Long before he became a celebrity in his own right--as the author of best-selling books, as the style arbiter of VH1 and America's Top Model, and the marketing genius behind Barney's New York--Simon Doonan was a "scabby knee'd troll" in Reading, England. In "Nasty," Doonan returns to the working-class neighborhood of his youth, and chronicles the misadventures of the Doonan clan in all their wacky glory. Readers meet his mother Betty, whose gravity-defying, peroxide hairdo signified her natural glamour; his father Terry, an amateur vintner who turned parsnips into the legendary Chateau Doonan; his grandfather D.C., a hard-drinking betting man who plotted to win his fortune by turning Simon into a jockey; and his demented grandma Narg and schizophrenic Uncle Ken, both of whom lived upstairs. Fearing he would fall victim to the insanity that runs in his family, or, worse, the banality of suburban life, Doonan decamps with his flamboyant best-friend Biddie to London, where they hope to find the Beautiful People, that elusive clan who luxuriate on floor pillows and amuse each other with bon mots. Throughout the memoir--in essays about family holidays, the tart who lived next door, his first job--Doonan continues his bumbling pursuit of the fabulous life, only to learn, in the end, that perhaps the Beautiful People were the ones he left behind.
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