An Education

An Education

by Lynn Barber

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934633854
Publisher: Atlas
Publication date: 01/29/2010
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

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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An Education 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Cecilee More than 1 year ago
I first heard about this when I saw the Oscar nominated film based on it. Its really a great story. You will laugh, cry, cringe, and feel everything that she feels. I definitely would recommend. The book, as well as the movie.
ashleyinvogue More than 1 year ago
I'm so glad I bought this book. I just started it and it is absolutely wonderful. I love the way Lynn Barber writes, about how her simple yet semi hectic life becomes so enriched with all sorts of experiences that you wish you could have.
kimmyblair More than 1 year ago
I found this book interesting and engaging. It was a quick read that entertained me for an afternoon. I especially appreciated the way the author described her feelings and relationships with her family, and showed how those feelings educated her in her life. I won this book as part of the Goodreads giveaway program. For my full review check out my blog: http://kimmyblair.wordpress.com/2010/05/11/an-education-by-lynn-barber
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I picked this up since I am in love with the film adaptation starring Carey Mulligan. But the memoir turned out to be marvelous and entertaining on its own. The bit that the film is based on covers only about 10 pages in the book, but Lynn Barber has such a way with words that fans of the film will not mind at all. Barber looks at her past so candidly and with such a cynical attitude. It is incredibly entertaining, and a really quick read, and I read the book when I was visiting Oxford, Cambridge, and London, which made the experience even more dynamic. I highly recommend this one, especially since it is such a fast read. You have nothing to lose!
eas on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Lynn Barber¿s journalistic background is certainly demonstrated in spades in this tight and totally focussed memoir. Barber skims effortlessly from her birth to very conventional parents in early 40s London, through `the education¿ with mysterious Simon, to Oxford and then marriage to the unbelievably handsome and saintly David, through an incredibly lucky career in journalism, and ending finally with the - barely readable - trauma and unbearable grief of David¿s untimely death. Full of detail, stuffed with images and conjuring up forgotten memories of the conformist 40s and 50s, the heady 60s and mad 80s and 90s, Lynn Barber has given us an brilliant view of her exceptional life (to date!).Explosively funny - who of Lynn¿s generation cannot relate to the wonderfully self-deprecating description of her memory at age 65 or the `love match¿ between her `goofy¿ mother and love-struck father - the reader is taken on a roller-coaster ride right to the bitter-sweet finale.But despite the wit, given Lynn¿s conservative upbringing I was more than surprised at her unthinking confidence in jumping into Simon¿s car (I would have thought she¿d have run a mile), and less than believing of her non-questioning acceptance at the seeming change in her parents¿ attitude to her future and to their equally `strange¿ unchallenging acceptance of this obvious con-man (were they - and is she - really so naïve); at her evident self-reliance in tackling her grammar school teachers head on; and at the relish with which, in Oxford, she ditched all her previous values, principles and morals to jump from bed to bed on an almost daily basis giving the reason for this hedonistic lifestyle change as being due to her parents¿ apparent betrayal of everything they had taught her was right. Almost the only thing I could understand, in the context of her young life, was her was her single-minded pursuit of `the One¿ - pretty normal in any day and age!I must admit that I was very much taken at first with only the beginning of the book. However, now I feel that I need to revisit the end of the book again. Though taking up just ten percent of Lynn Baker¿s story those pages are some of the most disturbing and distressing I have ever read on the subject of death: they deserve so much more awareness and thought than I gave them on that first reading. On reflection I was probably still operating under the incredulity originating in much of what I saw as outrageous, and on the whole rather poorly self-excused, behaviour for a well-bought up sixteen-year-old in the late-fifties which took up much of the first part of this excellent read.
alana_leigh on LibraryThing 10 months ago
This was utterly fantastic. An Education is a wonderful memoir written by Lynn Barber, a journalist whose career led her to interesting people and places, and whose family led her to many important revelations about life and love. Chiefly, this memoir has gained recognition for the role it played as the jumping-off-point for Nick Hornby's screenplay for the film, An Education, but it deserves a great deal of fuss simply based on its own merit. Do not think that the movie encompasses the entire memoir -- the film is based on a single chapter from Barber's life involving a relationship with an older man while she prepared to attend university. I admit that I saw the movie first, loved it, and became interested in reading the memoir as a result of that, but when a friend (a journalist who bears a striking resemblance to Carey Mulligan) praised the memoir with such enthusiasm, I knew it would be lovely. I did, however, make the mistake of starting to read this in the evening before bed... and then I looked up to find it was after 2am. This could very easily be a single-sitting read and I already have great plans to give this volume as a gift to several witty and intelligent women in my acquaintance. In my discussion of the book below, I might inadvertently give something away, but when it's a memoir, one can hardly call it a "spoiler." Besides, if you're reading this memoir, you should be reading it for the wonderful style of storytelling.I suppose one can point to her background in journalism for the fact that Barber was able to write such a short memoir with such substantial content and detail. She's able to focus in on the parts of her life that she feels are important without rambling... and without giving the impression that she's skipping anything as a means of glazing over it. She leaves the reader wanting more -- a true accomplishment, indeed, for a memoir. She quickly goes through her childhood and parents, pausing for some lengthier focus on her first significant relationship with an older man named Simon. Quite the charmer, he even wins over her parents with ease, never pushing Barber into anything and yet still making her feel like she was in his debt for first exposing her to the finer things in life. It helps that she also adores his glamorous friends, too. So she ignores his shady business deals and accepts the lack of information she receives about him, submitting to his infantile pet names and handing over her virginity when she reaches seventeen. When Simon proposes and her parents are delighted, noting that now she need not go to university, Barber feels betrayed by what feels like wasted years of education if this is all they wanted for her. What was the point of instilling such a respect for education and learning if she was going to make them just as happy by getting married? Ultimately, Simon turns out to be married already and even though Barber had to leave her school because of the engagement (coincidentally, at her school, they also believed there was no need for her to be both engaged and sitting for exams to enter university), she ultimately succeeds in her parents' original goal of having her attend Oxford University, but not without some cost... "an education," indeed.Once at Oxford, she embarks upon a hedonistic lifestyle, determined to do the minimal amount of work at school in favor of learning other things from life... which seems to be working decently well for her until she meets the man that she knows is The One from first glance. After finagling herself into sharing a house with him, she and David quickly become an item and eventually get married, having two daughters and creating a non-traditional but quite functional marriage. Details of her marriage and family life are pushed aside for discussion of her career, which one assumes was true in the living of the experience as well as the re-telling. Barber begins her career by proofreading and writing for P
norabelle414 on LibraryThing 10 months ago
Pretty good, for a memoir. I related to Lynn a lot. I enjoyed the way that her life seemed perfectly normal to her, but she realized later (from other people) that maybe it wasn't. Her stories and the way she told them were interesting and engaging, but not vulgar or unrealistic. She behaved like a perfectly normal person. For example, she worked as an editor at Penthouse but spent most of her time aruging with another editor about Oxford commas and -ize vs. -ise. She wrote two books about sex, but it's not some kind of risque secret, it's just what she did. I especially enjoyed how she kind of semi-stalked her now-husband when they first met. Even though memoirs are still not my thing, It was nice to read one by someone I actually respect, for a change.
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