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The Bellinghman

#258 George Mikes: How to Be Decadent

George Mikes: How to Be Decadent

Paperback: 96 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New Ed edition (27 Jul 1981)
ISBN-10: 0140049525
ISBN-13: 978-0140049527
Category(ies): Ethnography

Written in the late '70s, this is Mikes on home ground. Or adopted home ground, anyway. Mikes first became famous for his portraits of British life from the 1940s. Here, he's revisiting the subject three decades later, with the Empire freed, the EEC leaving the UK in the dust economically speaking, and a confusion as to what role we were supposed to be filling. (Supposedly, that of gentle, decadent decline.) As to be expected, there are some wonderful quips. Though he refuses to go back very far on the "Other peoples have sex. The British have hot water bottles" line, conceding only the invention of electric blankets instead.

A follow-up to How to Be an Alien.
Tags: books, reviews

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