Brian Elme ekes out a livelihood making up stories about celebrities for a tabloid gossip column. When an angry Lady Julia Cressey spots one of Brian’s stories about her, it looks like the end of his journalism career—until she sees how young and handsome he is. Overnight, Brian finds himself the star of society, charming everyone with his beauty and ingenuousness and growing accustomed to late night parties, decadent dinners, and eternal cocktails. As Brian finds himself led down the path of depravity by his new friends, will he be able to maintain his innocence?
Beverley Nichols (1898-1983) was one of the ‘Bright Young People’, a group of socialites well-known in 1920s London for their drinking, drug use, and elaborate parties, and in this novel he satirized the set to which he belonged. Inspired in part by Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and an influence on Evelyn Waugh’s novels, Crazy Pavements (1927) was a bestseller in its day and has lost none of its ferocious humour. This edition, the first in more than seventy years, includes a new introduction by David Deutsch discussing the novel’s themes, including its gay subtexts.
‘With this book he establishes his claim to rank as a vastly entertaining observer of human life. He has a very attractive style, a frequently delicious humour, and a dramatic sense of situation.’ - Arthur Waugh, The Daily Telegraph
‘Brilliantly original.’ - The Guardian
‘It is altogether a brilliant affair.’ - Bystander