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The Lost Diaries Paperback – 29 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (29 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007436491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007436491
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 438,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Has one of the funniest indexes of any recent title and is also among the few works to feature both Lord Rees-Mogg and the 1970’s rock chick Suzi Quatro’ Sunday Times

‘Craig Brown is a brilliant parodist. And here is a book full of his brilliant parodies… It’s superb. It’s glorious.’ Evening Standard

‘The mix of belly laughter, common sense and the wildest whimsy makes it a prize example of the English sense of humour at its finest, and confirms Brown as the master of language and linguistic nuance, and our greatest living satirist' Sunday Times

'The most screamingly funny living writer … The republication rights should be acquired by the Gideons who will have it placed in a draw in every hotel room in the world', Five stars, Barry Humphries, Mail on Sunday

‘Inspired … a comic masterstroke’ Daily Telegraph

‘On-the-money parodies…cumulatively they skewer the voices of these “writers” in a funny, uncanny way. A fine display of a master parodist’ Financial Times

‘Pitch-perfect, laugh-out-loud parodies from our greatest living satirist’ Sunday Times, Must Reads

‘The amazing Craig Brown – the greatest satirist since Max Beerbohm’ Elaine Showalter, Guardian

‘A genius … in every instance, the skill of the parodist dwarfs any achievement attributable to his subject’ Auberon Waugh, Daily Telegraph

‘He is the comic writer the rest of us admire from afar, and envy beyond the bounds of reason. How does he do it?’ Markus Berkmann, Spectator

‘Britain’s wittiest satirist’ The Times

About the Author

Craig Brown has been writing the Private Eye celebrity diary since 1989. He has also written parodies for many other publications, including The Daily Telegraph, Vanity Fair, The Times and The Guardian. He is the author of several books, most recently ‘The Lost Diaries’ and ‘One on One’.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Gary VINE VOICE on 7 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I laughed out loud on every page, from Barack Obama ('Michelle asks, do I want the milk? And to that I say this. Our milk will come. Our milk will flow, and it will flow true. Our milk will flow smooth, and it will flow well-chilled. But our milk will not flow if it is not poured. But let me promise you this, Michelle ...') to Tony Benn ('I have two tape recorders, one newer and more capable, the other older and more experienced. For security reasons I never leave them in a room together ...') to HRH the Prince of Wales ('They tell me that in some shops they have started selling loaves of bread that are what they call "ready-and-sliced". I fervently hope this is one trend that doesn't "catch on". And is there really any need for this new-fangled idea of soup in tins? Broth tastes much better bubbling away in a great big open pot, stirred by a chef who really knows his stuff ...')

Each parody is a jewel. Craig Brown detects absurdity, pomposity, verbosity like a moth detects pheromones. He's a genius. He not only mimics beautifully but also actually gets to the centre of the people he parodies. From Jeremy Clarkson to Gore Vidal to Madonna to Isaiah Berlin and hundreds of others he is perfect every time.

It's a big, fat book - 404 pages - so is good value. Nicely produced, with a clever cover. Would make an excellent present.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J SWIFT on 14 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
Have followed Craig Brown in Private Eye for a while. This is a big read and unless you know who the pseudo-diarists are it tends to be a collection of very good nuggets rather than a sustained laugh (though not all entries are intended to be "funny"). Brown has a fantastically good "ear" for the style and tone of his subjects - including the Queen, his monarch. A great book for dipping into. I had to read it against the clock for a book group, which is not the best way to approach it.The structure around real dates/events during the year is a clever device. Recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Harlech on 26 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is the type one dips into from time to time. Every page is worth it. Craig Brown has a great ear for the pretentious.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Pearce on 7 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Quite the funniest book I've read in years, The Lost Diaries is a superb collection of "diary" entries" by famous people from all walks of life as envisaged by Craig Brown ace reviewer,satirst and private eye contributor.

Genuinely laugh out loud entries come thick and fast and armed with only a superficial understanding of such characters as Cormac McCarthy,Max Hastings,Heather Mills McCartney,Roy Strong and Harold Pinter Brown seems to me to capture their public voice with unerring accuracy.

Particular favourites are Keith Richards,Hugo Vickers(the Queen Mother stuff is uproarious),Barack Obama and Germaine Greer.

For devotees of humourous prose,a must have.
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Format: Paperback
I was dismayed to read the following comment in a one-star review of this book:
"Clearly I have missed the whole point of the book but not being a member of the N London Media Lit brigade, it went over my head."

However, having now read the book, I can appreciate what the reviewer meant. There are simply too many names that will only be identifiable to a certain kind of reader. A great deal of the subjects in this book were people I had never heard of - and I doubt Joe Public would know of. This is where Google came in handy, as I had no idea who W.G. Sebald was. Or Roy Jenkins, Sir Nicholas Henderson, VS Naipaul, George Steiner, Annabel Goldsmith and Lord Runciman.

The trouble is that to be familiar with everyone in this book, you'd need to read every newspaper avidly on a daily basis. And most people are only familiar with their own sphere: therefore those who know what Katie Price writes like will not really appreciate the Thomas Hardy parody. Even once I'd looked up who certain people were, that still didn't inform me what their writing style was.

The best advice for reading this book is not to try it from start to finish. Just dip in and out, and only read entries by those you are familiar with; or try one entry by someone you are unfamiliar with. And if you don't find it amusing, ignore the rest for that person. I found this worked for me, especially as the joke is milked dry in many cases: Martin Amis and Christopher Hitchens to name but two. The Richard E Grant parody becomes incredibly tiresome the third or fourth time.

All this said, when Brown gets it right, he is side-splittingly funny. I suppose we all have our favourites, and for me, he is a genius when parodying the upper classes.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Tillie Traveling on 5 Jan. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is unlike any other I have. The "diaries" are "written" by a variety of people...living and dead, British, American, and other nationalities, politicians, royals, and celebrities and even a few friends of mine. The "editor" is particularly wicked with Sarah, the Duchess of York, Heather Mills McCartney,and Yoko Ono. Barack Obama's bits are hilarious as he can't do anything without a dissertation that makes no sense whatsoever to his wife or audience. Because this is comprised of excerpts, has no plot, but does have an index, it can be read in spurts or any way you want. It is ideal for a guest bedroom, or for someone bedridden who can't read for very long. My copy is going to a cousin who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, tires easily, but still has a wicked sense of humor.. Be sure to read the flyleaves, the "editor's" biography in the back, the list of his other books in the front, and the introduction...all of these will give you a taste of what's to come.
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