By Charlie Mortimer
From the eponymous best-selling author of Dear Lupin, a hilarious and heartbreaking account of the man behind the letters.
Lucky Lupin is a poignant yet light-hearted story of survival against the odds, based on Charlie Mortimer's life with HIV/Aids during the early years (1984-1996), when there was neither treatment nor cure.
Using a combination of good luck, gallows humour, Fray Bentos pies and copious quantities of Solpadeine, Charlie survived not only the illness but the hysteria that accompanied the so-called 'gay plague'. Anyone infected became a social pariah; had the local launderette got word of his illness they wouldn't have washed his sheets but burnt them.
Whilst taking full responsibility for the consequences of his behaviour - 'The fact is you don't get AIDS from watching telly' - Charlie initially took to the sofa and prepared for death, but, in time, he found the inner strength required to confront his fatal diagnosis, becoming, among other things, an antiques dealer and contemporary art collector.
With blistering and often hilarious candour Charlie also recounts his childhood where he developed a passion for cars, cultivated by his adventurous mother 'Nidnod', his dizzying array of careers and somewhat curious domestic arrangements including the 'adoption' of a bank robber for twelve years. He also confronts head on his experiences of coming to terms with confused sexuality, addiction, epilepsy and clinical depression before finding lasting contentment.
Praise for Dear Lupin:
'As well as being the funniest book I've read in ages, it's also extremely touching. A delight then, on every front.' The Spectator
'Very, very funny.' Sunday Times
'Wry, trenchant, often extremely funny, but also charmingly forbearing and forgiving.' Country Life
Charlie Mortimer was educated at Wellesley House and (reluctantly) Eton. He was, among other things, an officer in the Coldstream Guards, a vintage car restorer, oil rig roughneck and pop group manager, as well as a boat boy/mechanic in Kenya, a car salesman in California, a scrap-metal dealer, a manufacturer of boxer shorts in Asia, an antiques dealer and contemporary art collector. He now describes himself as 'a somewhat decrepit middle aged, middle class spiv (mostly retired)'. He recently edited his late father's (Roger Mortimer) letters to him in the Sunday Times bestseller Dear Lupin, which was subsequently adapted into a West End play. He currently lives with his partner in London.
- Other details
- Publication date:
20 Oct 2016
- Page count:
[...] a cast of outlandish relatives and friends with seemingly limitless reserves of black humour — Sunday Times
Mortimer is at his strongest when he talks about lust and obsession....There is graciousness in the way he faces terminal illness — Times Literary Supplement
[Charlie] comes clean or rather dirty about living with HIV in his typically irreverent, self mocking manner. Life affirming stuff — Tatler
[...] one shares [Charlie's] irrepressible sense that it is good to be alive. The wayward son turns out to be somebody one would like to meet, to know and to befriend — Oldie
He [Charlie] recounts repeated spells in rehab and a diagnosis of AIDS in 1986 with an offhand courage that Roger (father) himself might have admired, if not approved — The Mail