Review of “High Life / Low Life”

The American Spectator, July 1982.

Jeffrey Bernard and Taki are two of the hottest tickets in British journalism. They write for the Spectator of London, in whose venerable ecru pages they stand out like a couple of yobbos looking for a brawl. They approach BritLit’s favorite medium, the essay, with the instincts of a Westbrook Pegler. They throw open the door and blurt it out. This may explain why they are so popular in a country that produces graceful and witty essayists in job lots but very few exciting ones.

Taki—he uses only the one name— writes a column called “High Life,” based on his ongoing adventures as the playboy younger son of one of the Greek shipping tycoons, John Theodoracopulos. Bernard writes the complementary column, “Low Life,” based on his adventures as a drunk, a debtor, a cad, a sloth, a loser, a failure. He does it so well, however, to such applause, he may be writing himself out of a role…