The Moustache Grower’s Guide by Lucien Edwards

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Reviewed by Mary McConville

Fuzzy faces are very fashionable at the moment. People talk about “going the full Ned Kelly”. So they probably would like to read this enjoyable American book, appropriately put out during Movember.

The models in this book are exclusively male but women can be part of this world. Alice B. Toklas (Gertrude Stein’s companion) had a noticeable moustache and we’ve just had a bearded lady sing in the Eurovision Song Contest.

There are some great moustaches demonstrated in this book. There is the “crustache”, an easily grown mo. It’s small and sometimes likened to a smear of chocolate on the upper lip. It is favoured by American “trailer park princes.”Is this a bogan? The author gives these princes the sartorial advice that they should not wear loose and messy trousers and a singlet with this moustache. He said that it looks better with tight jeans and a short sleeved polo top. It does.

Another famous moustache is the surreal and upturned moustache worn by Salvador Dali. Dali’s moustache is interesting but I don’t like the man himself. I’ve seen his recipe book and they would need to invent a new classification to describe its obscenity. It has paedophilia, cannibalism and an erection on practically every page. The recipes are boring too. They’re just conventional middle class French.

We have some old fashioned styles –the bushy Imperial, the Hungarian and the handle bar, just the thing for any fashionable melodrama villain.

Even cartoon characters can grow a flourishing patch of facial hair.

We have instructions on how to imitate Super Mario the plumber. The author does recognise that maintaining this style is difficult for real men. Other famous cartoon moustaches are attached to the faces of Yosemite Sam and the less loveable Snidely Whiplash.

Halfway through the book we find some beard and moustache combos. There is the lumberjack. “Oh, I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK…”Sorry, just channelling Monty Python…. Buffalo Bill also gets a look in with a neat and snazzy style. Shakespeare is there and Lenin.

Now if you’re really into these styles or wish to invent some of your own there are competitions in America that encourage and reward these stylish (facial) hairstyles.

Alternatively, if you really want to, you can fake it. Groucho Marx did. So do his fans with a cheap, plastic nose, mo, eyebrows and glasses.

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