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

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  2,464 Ratings  ·  301 Reviews
When the journalist Lynn Barber was 16, she was picked up at a bus-stop by an attractive older man who drew up in his sports car - and her life was almost wrecked. A bright confident girl, on course to go to Oxford, she began a relationship which, incredibly, was encouraged by her conventional, suburban parents and which took her into the louche, semi-criminal world of wes ...more
Paperback, 183 pages
Published June 25th 2009 by Penguin (first published January 1st 2009)
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Jun 22, 2010 Tatiana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who liked the movie adaptation and want to know more
Shelves: non-fiction, 2010
As the majority of people who are currently reading An Education, I became interested in this book only because of the Oscar-nominated version of Lynn Barber's affair with an older man - I simply wanted to know if there was more to her story than shown on the big screen. In some ways, there was.

The movie is based on just one chapter of this very short book and, I have to say, the movie makers took quite a few liberties with the story. To my surprise, the real affair wasn't quite as dramatic as p
Author and award winning journalist Lynn Barber's life is fascinating. She had an affair at 16 with an older, married man. Her first journalism job out of Oxford was at Penthouse. She won awards over the course of three decades. With a life like that, you'd think that her memoir would be spectacular, full of hilarious and poignant stories as she navigated school, marriage, her career, the births of two children, sex discrimination, and the death of her husband. But it's not. Her memoir is shallo ...more
Oct 11, 2010 Oriana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
I should just say, by the by, that this is one of my absolute favorite ways to read: I scored this book at the Brokelyn Book Swap (I forget what I traded for it; certainly some crap), and I knew and know absolutely nothing about it. I've never heard of Lynn Barber, I only know this book was made into a movie because it says so loudly on the back (and because Elizabeth kindly pointed it out below), I don't even know what the book is going to be about. But it turns out that I love it! It's the Bri ...more
Andrea Mullarkey
Aug 02, 2012 Andrea Mullarkey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, stories
When a colleague told me we’d gotten this screenplay and that we now own the book, the screenplay and the movie I thought it would make a great choice for our Book Into Film series. For no reason I can fathom, I read the screenplay before the memoir. It was wonderful, witty and fast and a bit heart-breaking. After the screenplay I watched the film and was pleased to see that Lone Scherfig had captured all of that and the wonderful style of 1960s London.

Charmed by both the screenplay and the film
Jul 24, 2010 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like many, I picked up this title after seeing the movie, and thinking that there was more to that story, and I wanted to read about it. I was astonished that the movie (well-told, emotionally satisfying) was adapted from one slim chapter in the book. A faithful adaptation, as well, except that our young protagonist seems rather more worldly than the charming naivete exhibited by Carey Mulligan; and that Peter Saarsgard is likely more handsome than the rakish lover in the book. That slim chapter ...more
Lady Ethereal Butterfly
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 ...more
Dec 13, 2015 Burcu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ödüllü yazar Lynn Barber'in kendi hayatını anlattığı Aşk Dersi, içerisin de çıkaracağınız harika ötesi dersler olan müthiş bir kitap!

Zaten ödüllü bir gazeteci olduğu için kalemi o kadar güçlü ve güzel ki içerisindeki olaylar ne kadar üzücü ve trajik olursa olsun okurken keyif veriyor size. Yazarın samimi tavrı, hatalarını hiç acımadan eleştirmesi, araya serpiştirdiği geçmişine dönük pişmanlıklarını aktarış şekli hatta son cümlesi, kitabın her şeyi büyüledi beni.

16 yaşında yaşamış olduğu yasak i
For all that the cover copy is entirely about the ill-fated (and ill-advised) relationship Barber had with an older man when she was a teenager, the book is...not really about that. Oh, it's a chapter in her life (and the book), but it's neither the most important nor the most interesting chapter. I'm sure it informed the way she approached things going forwards, but...well, 'younger girl scammed by older man' is not a new story, or an unusual one.

(I do want to see the movie now, though. Carey M
Jan 09, 2016 beatricks rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ariel
Listened to the whole short audiobook in one night. The first few sections I thought were wonderful. What is extraordinary is not her experience in the palm of a much older and corrupt man, but how she moved forward with resolve never to do things the same way again. Unable to trust, least of all her parents, yet eager to experience. It spoke to my experience as a teen and honestly shed some unexpected light on old traumas. Her latter stories are interesting as well, but she paints herself as an ...more
Mar 21, 2011 Klaudia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WARNING: DO NOT WATCH THE MOVIE BEFORE READING THIS BOOK. Despite the fact that the movie only dramatises (yes with an S and not with a Z) one chapter of this book, the viewer may be intrigued to know what a tragic mess that poor naive teenage girl made of the rest of her life. Or something else that's equally as far-fetched as that assumption. In reality, any assumptions made about Lynn Barber are NOT TRUE. I loved her memoir. Absolutely loved it. It doesn't even come close to fathomable that t ...more
I went into the book having enjoyed the film based upon it and expecting to read something similar. That is not what this book is about. And that's not a bad thing. The chapter that the movie version was based on is rather short and does feel quite cinematic in that it truly is quite an interesting, to-the-point story. But to be honest, I think this chapter on her "educational" experience with Simon was probably my least favorite, if only because it still remains incomprehensible. Why would her ...more
Apr 18, 2016 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This is on my reading list for a course I am currently taking in college called "Britain After 1707," and I am glad it is on the list because honestly, this is not a book I would have picked up of my own accord. However, I really did enjoy it! I thought the strongest bit of the book was definitely the beginning, when Ms. Barber describes her time in grade school, her ambitions to go to Oxford, her relationship with Simon, and her years once she got to Oxford. She describes these experiences with ...more
Apr 14, 2013 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Admittedly I read this after watching the film so came to it with some premeditated ideas on what to expect. Needless to say I wasn't disappointed by the memoir of her early life, the emotion was raw and she wasn't afraid to open up about the truth around, what can only be described as, the sordid affair (on his behalf mainly). The blurb of the book, however, claims that the memoirs are a description of how the affair affected her life; presumably to sell it along with the movie. Once her younge ...more
As most everyone, I became interested in this book when I realized that the Carey Mulligan movie had been inspired by true events, and that the original "Jenny" had composed a much more extensive memoir of her life.

Barber's life was certainly full of interesting events: her solitary childhood, her affair at 16, her bohemian college life, meeting and snatching the man of her life, her first hand experience at the birth of Penthouse and her work relationship with its founders, her career as an int
I admit, I did read this after seeing the movie. And I did like the early portions about her youthful affairs the best. I realize that makes it sound like I liked the book in a shallow way, for the sensational bits, but really that's not it. Rather, Barber's writing about her childhood and college years offers a truly fascinating look at the development of her mind and the way that, as a young person, she tried to make sense of the world--something we all go through, but often in sharply differe ...more
Mar 19, 2010 Tosh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was seduced by the graphic design of the cover, and it started off well, but it then turned into something really not interesting to me. i never heard of Lynn Barber before I picked up this book. But it starts off about her teenage affair with an older man, who of course was sort of a con-artist. The thing is I find him more fascinating than the author.

The middle part of the book is about her career as a journalist for various British newspapers and magazines, including Vanity Faire - but aga
Mar 13, 2013 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up one day when I was sick because it was short and looked like it wouldn't tax my brain too much. I expected it to be like the movie, but better since I didn't really like the movie that much. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the section that discusses what the movie is about was a mere chapter and found Lynn's description of herself so much more understandable and sympathetic than the character in the movie. And then that was it. Besides little mentions of the affair, ...more
Sep 09, 2016 Silvia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author had a pretty exciting life so her evoking the facts as a to-do list made it superficial. She didn't offer as much insight as I wanted either into her work or her personal life. It seemed to me as if she described someone else's life. This book could have been so much better!
I couldn't wait to read this book. I had read an excerpt in the Guardian (chapter 3 I think) about a relationship she had had with an older man when she was just 16. I wanted to know more. I ordered the book online and was immediately disappointed - it was too slim. It was done in one sitting and, frustratingly, chapter 3 was the most fascinating. Not much more was revealed about that episode of her life. It was strung together with other snippets, glimpses at her life - lots of sex at Oxford, w ...more
Otobiyografi olduğu için yorum yapmak ne derece doğru bilemiyorum. Lakin işleyişi sevdim. Cümleler arka sayfaya itekliyor. Geçen yaz film bakınırken denk gelmiştim. Sonra kitabı olduğunu fark ettim ve haliyle filmi bıraktım. Birkaç güne filmi de izleyeceğim
I enjoyed this memoir, I like the author's style, I thought she was clever and funny and I enjoyed hearing about her work as a journalist. Her work experiences reminded me of Nora Ephron's as she recounted them in her memoirs, 'I Feel Bad About My Neck' and 'I Remember Nothing'.

I thought Lynne Barber's experience with the older con artist was going to play an greater role in the memoir so I was a little disappointed that he's the focus of only one chapter.

But the rest of her stories were fun and
Feb 27, 2010 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this memoir: it is a reminder that the most well-written or instructive memoirs are not always the ones written by "famous" people. I only picked up An Education because I LOVED the movie starring Carey Mulligan and Peter Saarsgard; although I was displeased at first that the plot of the movie is confined to perhaps only the first 30 or so pages of the book, the rest of the memoir is wonderful as well. It's a pleasure to read not only Lynn's great love story with her late husband, but to ...more
Jul 27, 2014 Penny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I'd looked forward to reading this - there was quite a fuss when it came out about the teenage affair with the much older man. Plus it seemed that Barber had lived an interesting life.
The Teenage Affair section was, to be honest, quite outstandingly dull. That's not to say that I was after salacious titbits, but for goodness sake. And could such a clever young girl (and we are constantly reminded just how clever she is) not have wondered sooner what on earth was going on with 'Simon'.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 22, 2016 Lesley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in two days, a very slim volume, Lynn Barber's life so far. "An Education" was just one chapter of this autobiographical work. On the strength of this,a film was made. I suppose it was extraordinary, but Lynn Barber sure plays it down.

I think she could be viewed as a heartless type of person. She is very critical of her elderly parents. Once free of their influence, she decides to sleep with as many men as possible whilst at Oxford (or Cambridge, can't remember which)- and her studie
Feb 23, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another charming book that works as a social document from a bygone age ( it begins in the early nineteen sixties), with a bizzare twist. Lynn Barber is a sixteen year old self-confessed swot who gets picked up at a bus stop by a much older man called Simon. He pursues her and they have a relationship AND EVERYONE THINKS THIS IS GREAT. Yeah. Lynn's parents had high hopes for her and were somewhat obsessive about her education. Lynn is both expected and predicted to go to Oxford.

Simon shows up an
Sarah Goodwin
So, like everyone else in the known univerise I bought this because of the film. Loved the film, had my first cigarette because of that film (and last). I was surpried to find that the film was only based on the one chapter, and that that one chapter had been given the full Nick Hornby treatment (i.e. a lot of the details had been changed to make it more romantic/interesting).

That all being said, it was very interesting to read about the later life of 'Jenny' or rather, of her real life counterp
Apr 02, 2015 Lobo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Annak idején Lyyn Barber, aki amúgy híres/hirhedt brit újságíró a Granta magazin számára megírta az “An education” című novelláját, amiből Nick Hornby meg forgatókönyvet készített és sikeres film lett. De a szerző közben úgy érezte, hogy bár egész életének egyik meghatározó élménye volt, amikor 16-17 évesen az 50-es években egy nála jóval idősebb férfi lett a barátja, ő ennél sokkal több mindenről tudna írni. Míg ez a Simon nevű illető bevezette őt a nagyvilági életbe, elérte azt is, hogy Lynn B ...more
Feb 16, 2014 Kellie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is one of those books that makes me wish I could give half stars - in this case a 3.5 instead of a full 4, but I did like the book enough to round up. As one of my Goodreads friends pointed out, Barber spends a lot of time recounting stories from her life with very little (in some cases practically no) reflection on them. Her stories were all quite interesting to me (especially her journalistic work in various magazines), but there were places I had questions and agreed that, yes, a little ...more
Jun 01, 2014 Margaret rated it it was ok
As I'm pretty much Lynn Barber's age, as I used to enjoy her interviews in the Observer, and as we both lived our pre-university lives in London, I thought this would be a book to savour.

Well, I dunno really. I whisked through it: it's a quick and easy read. Her teenage years were very different from my own, but after she'd described her childhood and That Teenage Adventure, the book settled down into giving a resume of her career. We learn little of Lynn the wife, Lynn the mother, Lynn the fri
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“I learned not to trust people; I learned not to believe what they say but to watch what they do; I learned to suspect that anyone and everyone is capable of 'living a lie'. I came to believe that other people - even when you think you know them well - are ultimately unknowable.” 48 likes
“What did I get from Simon? An education - the thing my parents always wanted me to have.” 11 likes
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