Mayhem: A Memoir by Sigrid Rausing - review by John Sutherland

John Sutherland

The Needle & the Damage Done

Mayhem: A Memoir


Hamish Hamilton 199pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

I once went to an AA meeting in Gstaad. That’s the resort for the super rich where, as the joke goes, Roger Federer can’t afford to join the tennis club. Lindt chocolates and espresso coffee were served in a clubhouse setting. The very rich people there munched, sipped and shared. What came out of their mouths was the same woes I had heard at skid row meetings in LA where the Chips Ahoy! cookies and coffee you could strip paint with disappeared fast because that was the only nourishment that many there were going to get that night.

Whatever F Scott Fitzgerald thought, when it comes to the bottle, needle and class A substances, the rich are not different. ‘Addiction stories are the same the world over,’ says Sigrid Rausing. Truly.

The Rausings are a billionaire dynasty that grew rich from the invention by the patriarch, Ruben, in the 1950s of Tetra Pak, the now-universal milk carton. Sigrid Rausing, who like other members of her family has moved from her native Sweden, with its prohibitive taxes, to Britain, is an admirable

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