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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
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
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 an absorbing historical document .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
Utterly gripping . . . [Amiel] has raised the bar stratospherically for the celebrity memoir
Carol Midgley, The Times
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
Fabulously gutsy and revealing memoir (Daily Mail memoir of the year)
Ysenda Maxtone Graham, Daily Mail
Neither holds a candle to Barbara Amiel's sizzling sexpot-and-shopping extravaganza . . . entirely riveting
Judith Woods, Mail on Sunday
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
Extraordinary . . . jaw-dropping candour . . . a terrific writer
Jewish Chronicle
Friends and Enemies is an extraordinary read showing unflinching candour from a truly remarkable woman
Elton John
Fabulously furious, frequently jaw-dropping book . . . This raging, splendid, defiant, crazy tigress of a book said it all
Allison Pearson, Sunday Telegraph
Full of passion and fury . . . What a woman
Sarah Sands, Mail on Sunday
A fabulous tale of sex and high society . . . 608 gloriously indiscreet pages of elegant vitriol
Hilary Rose, The Times
Blistering . . . shockingly candid . . . stiletto-sharp memoir of the year
Daily Mail
I could go on reading about her life for ever . . . frank and funny
Jan Moir, Daily Mail
An operatic reckoning
Sarah Sands, Spectator
Frighteningly, hilariously, gob-smackingly honest book . . . whatever you do, read this brilliant book
Anna van Praagh, Evening Standard
Camilla Long, Sunday Times
A scorching memoir exposing the cut-throat world of the one per cent
Chantal Clarendon, Daily Telegraph
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