An Education: My Life Might Have Turned Out Differently If I Had Just Said No

Paperback | October 27, 2009

byLynn Barber

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Lynn Barber's true story, now a major film of the same name scripted by Nick Hornby. At 16, Lynn Barber was an ambitious schoolgirl working towards a place at Oxford, when she was picked up at a bus-stop by an attractive older man in a sports car. So began a relationship that almost wrecked her life. Barber's fascinating memoir takes us beyond this bizarre episode, revealing how it left her with an abiding mistrust of men which paradoxically led her to a promiscuous life-style at university until she met her husband-to-be. An Education tells how she went on to work for seven years at daring (for the times) men's magazine Penthouse before beginning her starry days as the Demon Barber - Britain's most entertaining and most feared interviewer. The book ends with an extraordinarily moving account of the early death of her husband. Her writing is refreshingly frank and funny.

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From the Publisher

Lynn Barber's true story, now a major film of the same name scripted by Nick Hornby. At 16, Lynn Barber was an ambitious schoolgirl working towards a place at Oxford, when she was picked up at a bus-stop by an attractive older man in a sports car. So began a relationship that almost wrecked her life. Barber's fascinating memoir ta...

Lynn Barber studied English at Oxford University. She began her career in journalism at Penthouse, and has since worked for a number of major British newspapers and for Vanity Fair. She currently writes for the Observer. She has published two volumes of her celebrated interviews, Mostly Men and Demon Barber.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:200 pages, 7.75 × 5.04 × 0.5 inPublished:October 27, 2009Publisher:Penguin UkLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0141044144

ISBN - 13:9780141044149

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Customer Reviews of An Education: My Life Might Have Turned Out Differently If I Had Just Said No

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not What I Expected, but Still Good When I picked up An Education by Lynn Barber, I was expecting something different from the book, but I wasn’t disappointed by what it delivered. It follows Lynn through various periods of her life, focusing a lot on her dating and love life as well as touching on her schooling and career. The synopsis on the back of the book is a bit deceptive in my opinion. I was under the impression that the memoir would focus almost solely on her experience as a 16-year-old in a relationship with a mysterious, much older man. That isn’t the case. The memoir touches on many stages of her life. It doesn’t follow every detail of her life all the way until the present, but rather it floats around touching on a certain event and then drifting around until it touches another event, and not necessarily in chronological order. I found Lynn’s earlier years (pre-Oxford) to be the most enthralling part of her story. Even though it only takes up a small portion of the book, it is by far the most memorable. Lynn has certainly had a number of very interesting experiences during her life, but her relationship with the older man is what stands out. If you are seeking to read this memoir based on seeing and liking the film, you may be disappointed by how little of the memoir actually covers what you saw in the film. If you are haven’t seen the film yet but are predominantly interested in the older man younger woman relationship, I almost want to say skip the memoir and go see the film instead. That’s not to say that the memoir isn’t good. I just want to be clear that there very little time actually spent on that event in her life. After finishing An Education, I still can’t define my feelings towards Lynn. She had some very admirable qualities such as her intelligence and strength to overcome things, but she also seemed cold and distant to me at times. There were certain times during the memoir where I struggled to relate to her or understand what motivated her actions and behavior. One thing that is certain is that she has led a unique and fascinating life. For those who enjoy memoirs and don’t have any preconceived expectations, I’d recommend reading this. It’s a quick read that would be perfect for a lazy Sunday.
Date published: 2010-06-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Terrible Writing A beautiful movie lured me into buying an awful book. The plot is stop and go, the writing is jerky and unremarkable, and just like the previous reviewer said it is incredibly boring. I read the whole thing, hoping it would improve but it just got worse. I brought this straight back to the store. I wouldn't even bother requesting this at your local library.
Date published: 2010-05-03
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Groan. This book was so boring. How boring? SO BORING. You would think that someone with such a huge amount of professional writing experience would be able to write a captivating piece, especially something about herself, but Lynn Barber manages to fall completely flat. With her lack of details other than, "I was here, then I was there, then I had some kids, etc." this tiny, dry book was a chore to get through. Her romp with an older man while she was at such a young age has the makings of an interesting story, but it doesn't reach any sort of climax and just kind of fizzles out. I find it hard to believe that such a critically lauded movie could be based on such a small part (about 20 pages) of "An Education." I can see why the screenplay took years to develop. Avoid this snore-fest at all costs.
Date published: 2010-03-06