Eton College: Breeding Ground for Teenage Alcoholics? Page Sixer Tom Sykes’ New Drinking Memoir Lifts Lid on Prince Harry’s Exclusive British Boarding School

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When British journalist Tom Sykes, author of “What Did I Do Last Night? A Drunkard’s Tale” (Rodale, Oct 2006), landed his dream job as the New York Post’s bar columnist, he successfully turned his long-standing drinking problem into a vocation. Doubling up as a nightlife reporter on the paper’s infamous gossip column, Page Six, Sykes launched into a dizzying whirl of glamorous parties in fashionable nightspots, sumptuous dinners in New York’s best restaurants and never-ending free drinks at celebrity-packed events. It seemed that Manhattan was his martini.

When British journalist Tom Sykes, author of “What Did I Do Last Night? A Drunkard’s Tale” (Rodale, Oct 2006), landed his dream job as the New York Post’s bar columnist, he successfully turned his long-standing drinking problem into a vocation. Doubling up as a nightlife reporter on the paper’s infamous gossip column, Page Six, Sykes launched into a dizzying whirl of glamorous parties in fashionable nightspots, sumptuous dinners in New York’s best restaurants and never-ending free drinks at celebrity-packed events. It seemed that Manhattan was his martini.

Ultimately, however, the New York party scene that Sykes documented threatened to become his downfall, as the not-so-innocent cycle of heavy drinking and casual drug use gave way to the dark forces of alcoholism and drug addiction.

In his compelling new memoir, “What Did I Do Last Night? A Drunkard’s Tale,” Tom traces his fondness for the bottle back to his British boyhood at Eton College, England’s oldest and most exclusive boarding school, where the boys had to wear tail suits to class and there was a school pub on campus called ‘Tap’ that was used as a reward system and privilege for 16 year old boys including Old Etonian Prince Harry which may account for some of the young Prince’s well documented boozy misadventures. http://www.nypost.com/seven/10022006/gossip/pagesix/school_made_prince_a_drunk_pagesix_.htm

Sykes’ vividly recounts the dangerous comedy of a life lived with the bottle ever in hand, and goes on to tell how he picked himself up off the bar room floor to get out alive. Sykes’s gift is to bring a fresh and funny voice to his intoxicating tale of excess, but also leave his readers with a very real sense of great danger barely escaped.

Whether getting expelled from Eton College at the age of 16, climbing naked into his friends’ and colleagues’ beds at work conferences or simply trying to file an emergency front page update while reeling from a cocktail of Ecstasy and magic mushrooms, Tom takes the reader on a careening, page-turning odyssey, through the nightlife and street life of London and New York.

Tom Sykes, 32, is the brother of the best-selling novelist and Vogue contributing editor Plum Sykes, whose books, "Bergdorf Blondes" and "The Debutante Divorcee," are set in the very different world of Manhattan’s high society. Tom now lives in rural Ireland, with his wife and baby son.

Like 75% of alcoholics in America, Sykes always held down a job. In his time at the New York Post, Sykes devised, wrote and edited the paper’s bar column, “Block Party”, and its dating column, “Meet Market”. He also worked as a writer and reporter on the paper’s infamous gossip column, “Page Six”. Sykes’ work continues to appear in a wide variety of publications including Men’s Vogue, British GQ and Men’s Health.

Tom’s inspiring and entertaining tale is a story everyone in your audience should hear. It’s a poignant, funny and completely true memoir (ahem…did someone say James Frey?) written with the wit and voice of a true English gentleman.

“A wild ride through the drug and alcohol-soaked nightlife of London and New York. Tom Sykes’s writing is funny, smart-and the first completely truthful book about addiction I’ve ever read.” - Toby Young, author of "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People."

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Alexandra Villa
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