PORTRAIT IN OIL: The Autobiography of Nubar Gulbenkian by Nubar Gulbenkian

PORTRAIT IN OIL: The Autobiography of Nubar Gulbenkian

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When multimillion-oilionaire Gulbenkian's second wife ran into his third wife, they were both wearing leopard skin coat. ""I shot mine,"" said the second wife sweetly, striking first. ""I poisoned mine, said the third wife- Such is the charm of these memoirs, which run from Paris to Monte Cargo to London like a man passing from the bathroom to bedroom to kitchen. An Armenian, Mr. Gulbenkian, with his flaring eyebrows, outsized goatee, monocle, orchid boutonniere and smashingly masculine eyes, looks like Orson Welles about to chew up the Old Vic. He is quite happy to tell us about his and his father's oil deals, but he laces the whole book with enough wine, pate de foie gras and mild havanas (not to mention a total of 125 tons of caviar which he bought from Russia) that the reader is likely to feel just as rich as Mr. Gulbenkian. His other deals include adultery and tasteful assignations that none the less landed him in divorce court.Mr. Gulbenkian did not really feel rich, or even think himself Such, until after WWII. He attempted to apply himself to the charitable disbursement of his father's fortune, but there have been legal entanglements. His last chapter lays out the dream world of his vigorous retirement: gastronomy, fox-hunting, parties, travel, his cigars and flowers, the Ritz, chefs, an idle dollar or two he's scooped up. In the most gratuitous understatement of the year, he comments, ""...Just say that I enjoy life.

Pub Date: Oct. 19th, 1965
Publisher: Simon & Schuster