Jonathan Rendall, 1964-2013
February 13, 2013 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Late last month, the writer Jonathan Rendall was found dead at his home in Ipswich. He was 48. He was the greatest gonzo writer you've never heard of.

The epitome of the 'troubled writer', Rendall was given up for adoption by his birth mother. He spent part of his early life in Greece, before going up to Magdalene College, Oxford, where he boxed for the university. He wrote three books: This Bloody Mary is the Last Thing I Own, a memoir about time spent writing about, and promoting, boxing (and which won the Somerset Maugham Prize in 1998); Twelve Grand: the Gambler As Hero, for which he was given £12k to gamble away and then wrote about the experience (later adapted for television); and Garden Hopping, an account of his search for his birth mother. For a time he wrote a monthly column in 'The Observer Food Magazine' entitled 'Last Chance Saloon', which focussed mainly on his relationship with alcohol. His writing on sport (mainly boxing) appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines. He could really, really write.
posted by hydatius (9 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Available Used on Amazon. {unless I just snagged the last one}.

God bless gonzo journalists like this forfuckingever.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:13 PM on February 13, 2013

Having just finished the David Foster Wallace bio, now this, I'm starting to wonder if beautifully turned out phrases are worth being this burdened. Goddamn do I want to read some good prose by an emotionally healthy non-addict at the moment.
posted by C.A.S. at 3:21 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Watched the docs, read the book -- recommend it all.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:33 PM on February 13, 2013

How do you know who I've heard of?
posted by the bricabrac man at 3:41 PM on February 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Heh, fair point bricabrac man. Just pulling a quote. Wouldn't presume.
posted by hydatius at 4:36 PM on February 13, 2013

I hadn't heard of him, which was a crime. Thanks.
posted by cmoj at 6:47 PM on February 13, 2013

It's usually a young man's lament, praise and idolizing of a troubled, pained, alcohol-laden man like Rendall.

Having trekked this sad, lonely, weary path, those of us who have been fortunate enough to have loosed the grip of alcohol feel only sadness for him and his painful life.

RIP, old boy, lay down your guns, and enjoy the sights.
posted by lometogo at 8:49 PM on February 13, 2013

This is very sad.

Twelve Grand is a great book.

I'll try to read the others.
posted by DanCall at 1:18 AM on February 14, 2013

This Bloody Mary is the Last Thing I Own

That is a cracking title.
posted by Segundus at 3:59 AM on February 14, 2013

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