Art, Architecture & Photography Outsider II by Brian Sewell | Book Review Roundup | The Omnivore

Published on September 25th, 2012


Outsider II: Always Almost, Never Quite by Brian Sewell

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Blurb: With the first instalment of Brian Sewell’s autobiography ending tantalisingly in 1967 – after exploring Sewell’s childhood, adolescence and early adulthood – this next chapter charts his path to becoming, as the Spectator noted, ‘Surely the funniest art critic of our time.’ (Quartet Books, 2012)

Philip Hensher, The Guardian

“Awful as he no doubt is, his memoirs are tremendously enjoyable. He has never written with more haughty, scabrous bathos as here, and never writes better than in telling some much-honed anecdote of bad sexual behaviour.”

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Craig Brown, The Mail on Sunday

“This is a remarkable memoir, but what is missing is any bridge between the controversialist and the connoisseur, the potty-mouth and the prig: it is almost as though the life of Henry James had been written by Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown.”

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Lynn Barber, The Sunday Times

“This book is of variable quality and seems to rely in part on old files — the section on art forgeries and who bought which fakes when is too insanely detailed to follow. But there is a wonderful account of his travels in Turkey and a brilliant portrait of Salvador Dali at home in Cadaques … Sewell’s judgment is sometimes questionable, but his honesty is not. He never spares others, but he never spares himself either, and we must admire him for that.”

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Matthew Bell, The Independent on Sunday

“… the relentless dishing up of graphic sexual stories becomes a little exhausting. In a faintly depressing chapter about his encounter with the aged Salvador Dali already packed with voyeurism, masturbation and sheep guts, do we really need to be told that Dali’s wife, Gala, “could not, because of some deformity, be fucked and buggered simultaneously”? And yet, there is constant pleasure in Sewell’s prose: the elegance of phrase, the wry humour, and the clarity of insight.”

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