If you’ve already read Adam Entous’s lengthy piece on Hunter Biden in the New Yorker, the presidential scion’s memoir, Beautiful Things, might seem like a waste of time and $17.57. The subject matter is pretty much the same—word for word at times—and there aren’t even any pictures in the middle.

On the other hand, you might be amused by Hunter’s admission that while Entous was interviewing him for the story in the spring of 2019, as his father was getting ready to announce his campaign, he was “riding bareback on a rocket ship” through West Hollywood on his way to achieving “next-level” status as a degenerate crackhead.

Beautiful Things is Hunter’s side of the story, in his own words, and has more sympathy for its subject than even a sympathetic journalist could muster. To his credit, Entous was willing to consider evidence suggesting Hunter is an entitled narcissist who has been cashing in on the family name his entire adult life. Hunter, not so much. “I am not Billy Carter or Roger Clinton, God bless them,” he asserts, unconvincingly. “I am not Eric Trump or Donald Trump Jr.” That’s just as well. Hunter’s story, as he tells it, is the evidence.

The writing is bland, for the most part, imbued with the self-assurance of a mediocre rich dude who always considered himself a “writer” but never got the chance to really write until his dad became president and a publishing house gave him up to $2 million. An unlikely outcome is described as having “less than de minimis” odds, which kindles the “bidding quietude” of acquiescence. A pair of alluring eyeballs are “deep-blue pools.” Jim Morrison “was a fucking piker compared to my shenanigans.”

Hunter is at his most passionate when describing these shenanigans. The “astounding—even death-defying” amount of drugs and alcohol he consumed during his months-long binges in $400-a-night hotel rooms. The “nonstop depravity” and the “cycle of drugs, sex, exhaustion, and exhilaration.” His efforts to call out the “blatant racism” of hotel managers who dared to complain about the caravans of drug dealers and prostitutes parading through their lobbies at all hours. He was, in his own words, a character out of

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