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Extended Audio Sample An Education, by Lynn Barber Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,332 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lynn Barber Narrator: Carolyn Seymour Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Lynn Barber was sixteen, a stranger in a maroon sports car pulled up beside her as she was on her way home from school and offered her a ride. It was the beginning of a long journey from innocence to a precocious experience—an affair with an older man that would change her life. Barber’s seducer left her with a taste for luxury hotels, posh restaurants and trips abroad—expensive habits that she managed to support in later life as a successful London journalist whose barbed interviews both terrorized and fascinated her smart-set subjects.

A poignant, shockingly candid account of the stages in a literary life—from promiscuity at Oxford to a stint at Penthouse to a complex marriage that endured—An Education is a classic of English memoir.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[Barber’s] a suburban girl who’s frightened that she’s going to get cut out of everything good that happens in the city. That, to me, is a big story in popular culture. It’s the story of pretty much every rock ’n’ roll band.”

    Nick Hornby, author of the screenplay adaptation of An Education

  • “Candid, unsentimental and extremely funny. I read it in one glorious go, laughing and crying throughout.”

    Zoë Heller, novelist and journalist

  • “Few pieces of journalism have been more riveting than the hatchet jobs Lynn Barber used to make of the profiles she wrote for the Independent On Sunday and the Observer. Waiting avidly for the next one, I used to marvel that anyone was fool enough to submit themselves to her merciless examination. And now she has written a book as riveting as the profiles.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “Magnificent, searing, honest.”

    Mail on Sunday (London)

  • “Effortlessly engaging prose.”

    Times (London)

  • “Lynn Barber is known for her acerbic features and inteviews, and this memoir is no less candid, fun and down to earth…An Education reads like a gossip over coffee with an irreverent mother in law.”

    Sunday Times (London)

  • An Education confirms Barber as the kind of lovely, thoughtful and outspoken character you’d love to sit next to at a dinner party.”

    Sunday Express (London)

  • “Grab the chance to read this entertaining memoir while it’s being republished alongside Nick Hornby’s film adaptation.”

    Observer (London)

  • “This pithy account highlights how the encounter coloured the rest of her [Barber’s] life…lightly written yet brutally honest.”

    Guardian (Manchester)

  • “Barber’s memoir is funny, bold, incisive, clever and interesting.”

    Independent (London)

  • “Barber’s voice is of course hugely confident—sometimes grumpy, often a bit snooty, very often funny and always extremely frank. Take this to the beach and be grateful for feminism.”

    Scotsman (Edinburgh)

  • “An absolutely marvelous read.  The only thing wrong with it is that it is too short.”


  • “This book shares all of Barber’s best journalistic traits: it’s thrillingly readable, very light on its feet and you’ll want to finish it in one sitting.”


  • “The most riveting memoir you will read this year, comic and tragic by turns. A small masterpiece.”

    Literary Review

  • “An insightful, funny and moving personal tale.”

    Easy Living

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by steph b. | 2/6/2014

    " It took me a long time to locate a copy of Lynn Barber's memoir. Only the screenplay for "An Education" (based on one chapter of her book---and written by one of my favorite authors, Nick Hornby) was available in the US. When my book finally arrived, I got caught up in Lynn's fascinating story. Her writing is very journalistic, short and to the point---and I found myself wishing for more at times. I'm not familiar with any of her famous interviews (she's won several British journalism awards); but after reading her memoir, it may be worth my time to look some of those articles up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Kate | 1/17/2014

    " Definitely a great read, written after the film was made, this is more of a memoir of Lynn Barber's 40+ year career as a journalist and interviewer...But I loved it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Laurie Drew | 1/12/2014

    " Lynn Barber tells a straight-forward, no-frills story of her life from about 15 to the present (or nearly, I'm not going to provide spoilers). She tells a great story without painting elaborate visual pictures but I didn't feel like I was missing anything. I really enjoyed the stories and found the entire book very entertaining. I had to sit down and read it in one go. It was kind of like sitting down with a really interesting woman over coffe and having her tell me about herself. I loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sherry | 12/28/2013

    " I disliked the movie, disliked the chapter on which the movie was based, but enjoyed the pithy memior once she got to college. She sleeps with a lot of guys then finds her husband with whom she lives happily ever after until his health declines and she discovers that she barely knew him. "

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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 has won five British Press Awards and has published two volumes of her celebrated interviews, Mostly Men and Demon Barber.