21st Century,  General Fiction

An Education by Lyn Barber

The movie An Education, was highly regarded when it came out last year. Since it is based on a book , I thought about giving it a try. However, I could not be more disappointed.

  • Title: An Education
  • Author: Lyn Barber
  • Year of Publication: 2009
  • Pages: 208
  • 2/5

Summary from Book Depository:

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 west London just as the 1960s began. Ruin beckoned, until one day she made an important discovery. “An Education”, the opening piece of this fascinating memoir, was highly praised when first published in “Granta” magazine, and is currently being filmed by the BBC with a Nick Hornby script.

I must admit, the first two chapters are interesting: Lynn tells us about her upbringing and how her parents set her a strange set of values. But, after that, the work explores her life, from boyfriends to sex and good marks. The reasons why I didn’t like this book is that it reminded me of Eat, Pray, Love: the women behind the stories think their lives extraordinary and they take pride on being different, when in fact, they aren’t that different from the rest. So, it is that sense of superiority (supposed superiority I would add), that doesn’t appeal to me at all.

The style is plain, journalistic and tries to make the reader a buddy, someone Lynn wants to share her whole life with. Therefore, An Education makes very easy reading until your attention is drawn away from her non-extraordinary life. So, I would recommend this book to anyone going on a holiday and looking for a light reading… at the beach, where the text does not need all your attention.


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