A smart and hilarious memoir of privilege and excess told by the son of a powerful, seductive member of the New York elite.
Ben Sonnenberg grew up in the great house on Gramercy Park in New York City that his father, the inventor of modern public relations and the owner of a fine collection of art, built to celebrate his rise from the poverty of the Jewish Lower East Side to a life of riches and power. His son could have what he wanted, except perhaps what he wanted most: to get away.
Lost Property, a book of memoirs and confessions, is a tale of youthful riot and rebellion. Sonnenberg recounts his aesthetic, sexual, and political education, and a sometimes absurd flight into "anarchy and sabotage," in which he reports to both the CIA and East German intelligence during the Cold War and, cultivating a dandy's nonchalance, pursues a life of sexual adventure in 1960s London and New York. The cast of characters includes Orson Welles, Glenn Gould, and Sylvia Plath; among the subjects are marriage, children, infidelity, debt, divorce, literature, and multiple sclerosis.
The end is surprisingly happy.