Book Review

On Dressing Down & The Tragedy of Fidel Castro

A book that makes big promises without sufficient returns...

Over the last few days I’ve been dressing in tracksuit bottoms and a dirty hoodie, doing practical work in the antiques shop I’m working for. The way I am treated by strangers is markedly different from what I’m used to. No one thinks I’m a twat – there’s no garish shirt or cap or trousers or shoes, there’s paint marks on me and an unshaven face. I look working class, and people treat me differently, less aggressively, with more respect. I don’t look like I work in marketing or the media (not that I ever have), and suddenly people treat me like I’m a real person. It’s great, no one has innate contempt for me except for the people I usually have innate contempt for, even though I ordinarily dress like them. It’s levelling, people are pleasant: nobody sneers. However, though, I am aware that if any of these polite working class strangers looked closely they’d notice that my glasses are fucking Paul Smith and that the book in my pocket isn’t 1,000 Ways to Skin a Woman, but is instead Volume 4 of Á La Recherche du Temps Perdu, which means that I’ve a) already read THREE and am b) socially liberal. Also my backpack is Ally Capellino and my dog isn’t a breed you can pick up from a man in the back room of a pub for a hand job and a red note.

Last week I read a disappointing book about Fidel Castro and JFK, but not actually them, fictional versions of them operating in a fictional world with fictional events.

It’s fun and fine, but could have been a whole lot more.

Reviewed in full over at Open Pen, every word outside the caption is a mufkn link.

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