Barbara Amiel is vulgar, greedy, ruthless, cruel, and thrillingly unself-aware, but after devouring every line of her frighteningly, hilariously, gob-smackingly honest book, I’ve got to admit, I like her ... Brava to Barbara Amiel I say, and whatever you do, read this brilliant book.
... throughout this book she remains very much Barbara the undermothered Jewish girl from Hendon, a wartime kitten who, with no little melodrama and self-pity, has survived by purring and biting and writing ... This book is in part a love letter to Black, in part a bracingly intimate chronicle of financial free fall ... Calamity, in the form of protracted lawsuits and ruin, made her more likeable ... There is something magnetic and magnificent about this sustained, occasionally deranged lament.
... extraordinary ... What a divinely bonkers book this is — a crazed page-turner as written from the inside by Marie Antoinette. Nearly a decade after her husband was sent to prison — he was sentenced to 78 months — Amiel, who is 80 this year, writes the whole thing as if she’s still not sure what she did wrong...You just think: how deluded can you get? ... Like her husband, [Amiel] writes in dense, pompous sentences. Often it feels like thrashing your way through a thick, oversexed jungle ... This is nothing in comparison with the half-cock slavering pulp descriptions of how tall and handsome the uniformly dreadful men in her life were.