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Friends and Enemies: A Memoir


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About the Author

Barbara Amiel has been a columnist for The Times, Daily Telegraph, Maclean's, Senior Political Columnist for the Sunday Times, Editor of The Toronto Sun (first woman to edit a major daily paper in Canada), VP-Editorial for Hollinger newspapers, and co-authored By Persons Unknown, which won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar award. Asked to describe herself she writes, 'She has many Chanel jackets, cannot cook, owns large Hungarian Kuvasz dogs, and is married to Conrad Black.'


Friends and Enemies is an extraordinary read showing unflinching candour from a truly remarkable woman * Elton John *
Magnetic and magnificent . . . Amiel is superb, furious and, best of all, funny. Say what you like about her - and many have - but the Black Lady can write -- Quentin Letts * The Times *
Blistering . . . shockingly candid . . . stiletto-sharp memoir of the year * Daily Mail *
Extraordinary -- Camilla Long * Sunday Times *
Utterly gripping . . . [Amiel] has raised the bar stratospherically for the celebrity memoir -- Carol Midgley * The Times *
Frighteningly, hilariously, gob-smackingly honest book . . . whatever you do, read this brilliant book -- Anna van Praagh * Evening Standard *
I could go on reading about her life for ever . . . frank and funny -- Jan Moir * Daily Mail *
A fabulous tale of sex and high society . . . 608 gloriously indiscreet pages of elegant vitriol -- Hilary Rose * The Times *
A scorching memoir exposing the cut-throat world of the one per cent -- Chantal Clarendon * Daily Telegraph *
Amiel is capable of taking one's breath away with her searing frankness, and, from the evidence so far presented, her book is grisly and gripping in almost equal measure . . . an absorbing historical document . . . a salacious read -- Simon Kelner * i news *
Full of passion and fury . . . What a woman -- Sarah Sands * Mail on Sunday *
An observant and unforgiving account of a life that "has always been a precarious mix of gutter and ballroom, of intense work and absolutely unhealthy play". Packed with enough memorable characters, household moves, dinner parties, and jewelry shopping excursions to fill at least three typical memoirs. A celebrity memoir with an uncompromising kick * Kirkus Reviews *
Extraordinary . . . jaw-dropping candour . . . a terrific writer * Jewish Chronicle *
Neither holds a candle to Barbara Amiel's sizzling sexpot-and-shopping extravaganza . . . entirely riveting -- Judith Woods * Mail on Sunday *
Fabulously furious, frequently jaw-dropping book . . . This raging, splendid, defiant, crazy tigress of a book said it all -- Allison Pearson * Sunday Telegraph *
I don't think I've enjoyed a book as much as Barbara Amiel's autobiography in years . . . Pure, wicked joy -- Anna van Praagh * Evening Standard *
A beautifully written memoir that I could not put down . . . her memoir sets a new standard as an unreserved, self-deprecating narrative . . . Deploying her uncommon talent as a wordsmith, she has written a memoir that is a testament to her fearlessness in facing and admitting her own demons as well as in exposing the foibles, cruelty and failings of others -- Diane Francis * Financial Post *
This is undoubtedly the autobiography of the decade. Barbara Amiel's searing - and sometimes brutal - honesty, both about herself and others, leaves the reader staggered. The fact that she has for decades been the most sexually attractive female public intellectual on either side of the Atlantic, and certainly knew it, got her into extraordinary scrapes which she describes with a political incorrectness that is as refreshing as it will be highly controversial. How one person could have lived so many starkly different lives - bikini model, gangster's moll, first female editor, TV provocateur, multi-married sexual adventuress, proud Zionist, poet's muse, Cold War warrior, titled society hostess, assiduous prison visitor, and more - is truly extraordinary. There is not a hint of self-pity despite endless opportunities for it - including a rape, an abortion, depression, and three divorces - but instead we get many abandoned, laugh-out-loud scenes and witticisms that will live with the reader for a long time. No-one expected a discreet memoir from Barbara Amiel, but few could possibly have imagined that it would be quite this powerfully, dangerously, profoundly self-revelatory * Andrew Roberts *
Fabulously gutsy and revealing memoir (Daily Mail memoir of the year) -- Ysenda Maxtone Graham * Daily Mail *
An operatic reckoning -- Sarah Sands * Spectator *

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