An Education by Lynn Barber - review by Valerie Grove

Valerie Grove

Demon Barber of Fleet Street

An Education


Penguin Books 184pp £8.99

This is the most riveting memoir you will read this year. It is short, pithy, fast-paced, comic and tragic by turns. Lynn Barber, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street, who has terrorised celebrity interviewees and labelled them ‘mad’, ‘paranoid’, and ‘seriously screwed-up’, has looked into the mirror and dissected, unsparingly, her own peculiar life. It’s every bit as good as Lorna Sage’s Bad Blood, a comparable tale of a writer emerging from a potentially catastrophic episode in her teenage years. 

Barber was an only child, starting out in a rented flat above a shopping arcade in suburban Middlesex. ‘Being an only child’, she writes with truth, ‘is clearly the defining feature of my character.’ Having no friends, but an inbred sense of superiority – she was ‘the cleverest

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

RLF - March

Follow Literary Review on Twitter