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Flirtation, Seduction, Betrayal: Interviews with Heroes and Villains Hardcover – 18 Oct 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 28 pages
  • Publisher: Constable (18 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841196444
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841196442
  • Product Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,623,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nigel Farndale is the author of The Blasphemer, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Costa Novel Award. His previous books include Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce, which was shortlisted for the 2005 Whitbread Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He was born and raised in the Yorkshire Dales, read philosophy as a postgraduate at Durham University and worked as a farmer for a few years before moving to London to become a journalist. He now lives on the Hampshire-Sussex border with his wife and their three children. His new novel, The Road Between Us, is dedicated to them.

Product Description


"Farndale excels thanks to a masterly sense of balance — he neither hero worships nor wields the hatchet." -- Michael Hall, Country Life

"Farndale is one of the most dangerously skilful and perceptive interviewers at work today. This is a small classic, funny, ironic and merciless." -- Anne Chisholm, Sunday Telegraph

"This collection has a real sparkle: intelligent, irreverent and often unexpectedly kindly. It makes you laugh and, occasionally, gasp." -- Helen Osborne, The Spectator

From the Inside Flap

'Mr Farndale has a lot of explaining to do . . .' Michael Parkinson

'Both Elton and myself feel very hurt and let down . . .' Simon Prytherch, Sir Elton John's Publicist

'The great thing about Nigel's interviews is that not only are they funny, but they are also incredibly perceptive and surprising. I find him annoyingly good.' Lynn Barber, Observer

'Farndale is the cleverest, sharpest and most observant interviewer of his generation. He misses nothing and writes seemlessly. Only the brave should risk inviting this man into their home.' Matthew Norman , Guardian

'As a writer, Nigel Farndale is deft, wry and spikey. What makes him outstanding as an interviewer though, is his intense curiosity.' Craig Brown, Private Eye

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dr. J. Craig-mcfeely on 4 May 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is a seductive collection of interviews with a stunning list of people we would all like to get to know in this way. Farndale encapsulates each person and their meeting with a fascinating and somewhat sideways look at them. It's interesting that many of the interviewees were angry about the interview when published, even though I have not read one that is nasty about its subject. I suspect the real problem is that Farndale gets to the real person, no matter how hard they try to hide, and exposes them (always sympathetically) in the interview. Entertainingly laced with judgements on the interviewee made by other people, self-revealing remarks the interviewee would probably rather forget, and just enough of Farndale's own reactions to bring him to life. It makes perfect bed-time reading, each interview just the right length, though I found it difficult to stop at just one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By RR Waller TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Sep 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After a friend recommended "The Blasphemer", a book I thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend too, I looked for other Farndales and discovered this together with "A Sympathetic Hanging". Having read and enjoyed John Mortimer's "Character Parts", another book of interviews I would recommend (with most of Mortimer's books), I bought the Farndale.

There is a lengthy introduction about the process, styles and lengths of interviewing; having thought and read little about it, my limited experience was the brief television magazine interview, Mortimer's relatively short style and the "conveyor belt" film promotion, e.g. Hugh Grant's "Horse and Hounds" interview in "Notting Hill". The intriguing title comes from "The Times" writer, Andrew Billen, who compared the procedure to mutual seduction: "The three stages of a successful interview are flirtation, seduction and betrayal" (P 3), a description of the interviewer not the interviewees' lives (well, not all). The dust-cover is emblazoned with "The Daily Telegraph", not my usual paper so I knew I had not read them before, (unlike Clarkson's columns whose first "column" book I was given as a present; it is becoming very common now to retain moral rights and re-cycle columns into books). The dust-cover's list reads like a "Who's Who?" of the turn of the twentieth century's arts, media, sports, personalities and politics: Woody Allen, James Hewitt, Sir Paul McCartney, Goer Vidal, Eddi Izzard, George Best, Norman Tebbit, Jeffrey Archer, the Dalai Lama to name but a few.
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