You Cannot Live As I Have Lived and Not End Up Like This
The Thoroughly Disgraceful Life and Times of Willie Donaldson
Though born into privilege and inheriting a fortune, Willie Donaldson ended up dying alone in a seedy rented flat, his computer still logged on to a lesbian porn site.
To some, he had been one of the great, underrated comic writers of our time, and to others, a dangerous force of corruption and decadence.
His achievements were significant – he published Sylvia Plath while still at Cambridge University, as a producer in the Sixties he staged Beyond the Fringe, and he was later to write the celebrated Henry Root Letters – but were not as impressive as his reckless talent for self-destruction.
The impresario became a serial bankrupt. The man about town, who had lived with Sarah Miles and been engaged to Carly Simon, ended up as a ponce in a Chelsea brothel. Success as a writer quickly led him into a dark underworld of crack addiction, fraud and sexual obsession.
Friend and collaborator Terence Blacker unravels the intimate truth of Willie Donaldson’s strange story in all its glamour, hilarity and pain.
Utterly gripping.hilarious, heartbreaking.
– Sunday Times
A startling and brilliant biography which reads like a Rake’s Progress for the 21st century.
– Daily Mail
Superb and sensational.
– Daily Express
Terrific. I don’t suppose I’ll read a more interesting biography for a while.
– Evening Standard
Once in a blue moon comes a biography that has the texture of life-as-it-is-lived, the usual province of fiction . With stealth and sympathy, the biographer has followed his subject’s footsteps into all sorts of strange by-ways, most of them frightening or humiliating or forlorn.
– Craig Brown, Daily Telegraph
– Literary Review
Sympathetic and extremely enjoyable.
– Daily Telegraph