Brat: an ’80s story – Andrew McCarthy


The words ‘Brat Pack’ conjures a time, a scene, a cast of characters, scary fashions and a feeling: the mid-1980s and the films of John Hughes and his peers, who worked with a set of fresh-faced actors to capture the universal experience of being a disaffected teenager. While it’s become shorthand for a genre, ‘Brat Pack’ of course referred to the actors themselves, including Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez and McCarthy.

McCarthy starred in such classics as Class, St Elmo’s Fire, Pretty in Pink, Mannequin, Less than Zero among others. This coming-of-age memoir is a story of an outsider coming into his own, from being on-set with John Hughes, Joel Schumacher and French auteur Claude Chabrol, to a brief stint living with Jacqueline Bisset and her then-boyfriend Alexander Godunov in Hollywood. It will sit alongside books by his peers, such as Demi Moore’s Inside Out and Rob Lowe’s Stories I Only Tell My Friends, and behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories such as Cary Elwes’ As You Wish. It has also been praised for its literary chops, with comps to Patti Smith’s Just Kids and Steve Martin’s Born Standing Up.

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