Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Redeeming Features: A Memoir Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 10, 2009
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
–Amanda Foreman, author of Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire
“What a life! And one that could only be recounted by the man that lived it. Written with great brio, wit, and worldliness–uniquely wonderful!”
–William Boyd, author of Any Human Heart
“Nicky Haslam has known everyone from Greta Garbo to Cole Porter to the Royal Family, with many unforgettable eccentrics in between. But this is not a catalogue of celebrities. It is a truly felt, beautifully crafted, wise consideration of a full life, which paints an unforgettable picture of a vanished England and America. Masterpiece is an overused word, but this Proustian evocation is indeed a masterpiece.”
–A. N. Wilson, author of After the Victorians: The Decline of Britain in the World
“Witty, moving, and gloriously indiscreet, Redeeming Features is deliriously enjoyable. Nicholas Haslam depicts his Proustian world with brilliant incisiveness, showing himself to be one of those rare writers who can translate a highly developed visual sense into the most dazzlingly original prose.”
–Selina Hastings, author of Nancy Mitford: A Biography
“A bon vivant and blueblood channels his inner Proust, to marvelous effect. British designer Haslam is a master of the well-dropped name: Here comes Jack Nicholson, there goes Diane Vreeland, here Andy Warhol, there Mick Jagger. But he is more than that; he’s also a summoner of memory to rival, it seems, Jorge Luis Borges’s Funes. The evoker of this memory is not a buttery madeleine, but the clinking latches and billowy cloudscapes of southern England, among the opening images in Haslam’s recounting of an offbeat but decidedly interesting childhood in a country house called Hundridge among an artistic family whose elders had little use for convention. His father and mother had been familiars with the likes of Maxim Gorky and H.G. Wells . . . A delight-gossipy, fluent and literate, all set in motion by ‘a sudden view, a muddy scent, the creak of a hinge [that] might manifest childhood’s mirage.’”
“The book is set on a planet akin to earth but peopled only with the famous and the fabulous. And so he paints watercolors for Princess Michael of Kent, gives a party for the Rolling Stones and hosts Truman Capote at his horse ranch.”
—Andrew Bast, Newsweek
“Haslam has been at the centre of every glittering circle . . .”
—Emily Bearn, Tatler (UK)
“Haslam is not only an indefatigable networker; his book offers the most eloquent proof that name-dropping has come of age.”
—Sebastian Shakespeare, Evening Standard (London)
“His story is gripping, because he has led such an extraordinary life.”
—Lynn Barber, The Sunday Times Magazine (London)
You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.
Top Customer Reviews
I can't really recommend this book to the average reader. I think if you didn't "know" at least most of the names he writes about, you wouldn't enjoy it. For those of us who do "know" the names, "Redeeming Features" is a fun read.
The worst part of it is when he veers into his own relationships. They seem like high school breakups with all the accompanying jealousies and angst.
Years ago, I had a dear gay friend tell me, "I'm the same as you, but less substantial." When he explained this to me, he said that his homosexuality prevented, to his great sorrow, forming the close bonds of spouse, children and family. Unfortunately, there is a bit of this in Haslam's book, an emptiness despite the fantastic friends, society, and country bolt-hole.
I enjoyed the gossip, true--but I felt a lot of pity, a strange feeling when I anticipated a lot of fun. How can I articulate this--brittle--yes, this was a brittle read.
Ugly is something I would also use to describe some of what Nicky writes in Redeeming Features. He deliberately inserts some of the very most disobliging things about people in society that I have ever read. In particular, Mr Haslam seems to really dislike the late Alvilde Lees-Milne, and provides certain quite repellent assertions about her personal life with the late Princess Winnareta de Polignac, nee Singer, as well as supposedly recording a catty remark regarding Winnie and Alvilde by her husband's old school chum Harold Acton. Since there are no book sales to be made from mentioning someone so long dead (1994) and comparatively unfamous one can only assume that Nicky was settling an old score.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fantastic! He's led an incredible life in jet-set social circles. Smart and funny.Published 1 month ago by Liz
Mr. Haslam is an intimate with the world! Important book, and, written in great style. Good for tips on decorating too.Published 14 months ago by Albert V. lesley
Very entertaining; Mr. Haslam have quite a life and if you love biographies, society stories and gossip, this is a great one.Published on August 28, 2013 by Leslie Dimit
As the reviewer in the Literary Review said Haslam can name drop for the Olympics.
Haslam is a British socialite and interior designer who is of that time and... Read more
The book was written by someone (obviously) with an artistic eye. Everything - the people, homes, locations, experiences - the reader will effortlessly visualize. Read morePublished on March 6, 2010 by Linda L. Asleson
Nicky Haslam lead a charmed life and the proof is in this autobiography. There are quite a few revelations, some I can't imagine are true, e.g. Read morePublished on February 8, 2010 by M. Zaberto