Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Oh, Those Nasty Brits!

British book reviews are exceedingly colorful, at least compared to our milquetoast American counterparts.

Andrew found an hysterical review of a biography of actress Joan Collins in The Telegraph. This is a book neither of us would ever read, but I am exceedingly glad I read the review. It had me in stitches.

I only extract the best lines:

Whatever one might think of Joan Collins, she does remain eternal and utterly incredible in much the same way as, say, Bamburgh Castle.

Bear with me on this one.

Both are famous English landmarks, renowned for their brooding beauty and timeless appeal, and both have withstood attack and the abrasion of salt wind for centuries.

Neither has been extensively restored, as Miss Collins insists that she does not believe in plastic surgery, only the camouflaging effects of “lashings” of make up.

Still, from certain angles, it is clear that at least one of them is an old ruin. . .


During her first assault on Hollywood, Collins slept with so many men that she was known as The British Open.

“Joan's had more hands up her than the Muppets” was how one actress deftly put it. . .


Coming across her early adventuring in Tinseltown is like finding unexpected passages of mirth and froth in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The thing was, five times married, Joan never looked innocent. . .


Husbands, lovers, collaborators, friends: here is a woman with no use for the corpse once she had extracted the marrow. Yet somehow she endures over the decades: green-eyed Saint Joan presiding above a bonfire of dried sticks and husks of husbands.

It is hard not to admire her for that, however awful she might be.


  1. The line, "During her first assault on Hollywood, Collins slept with so many men that she was known as The British Open.", pretty much encapsulates La Collins's entire career!

    I'm shocked they did not mention her husband, who is 30-something-plus years her junior!

    Ahh, these Hollywood bombshells, they deserve more respect than ever.

  2. Chanteuse:

    That "British Open" line was a pretty funny line, wasn't it?

    The review only mentioned that Collins had had five husbands, not naming any of them, but I suppose that the book itself covered this issue in some detail.

    The review made me laugh and laugh.


  3. Ah, our little Joanie! She always did like the men.

    I saw that review, and it was very, very funny.