4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The old Lady vanishes...,
This review is from: A Diary of The Lady: My First Year as Editor (Hardcover)
I was intrigued to read this after watching the Channel 4 documentary, and having worked as a reporter on a newspaper for a massive parent company I was also interested in how a family-owned company that puts out a single publication functioned in the 21st century.
I am not sure if I was satisfied on either of those two counts. Whilst I enjoyed reading it and sympathised with the task laid at Johnson's feet, I couldn't help but think there was a more serious side to this story that deserves to be told more explicitly; as it stands you have to squint between the constant name-dropping, details of what outfit Ms Johnson wore to an event, and repetition (yes, we know about the cellar, there's no need to keep going on about it) to try and glean the true dilemma of that is happening at The Lady.
Regarding the repetition, this must surely be a symptom of the fact that the book was rushed through; the diary ends in June and the book came out in September, which is a fast turnaround. This is probably also the reason for the howler near the end of the book "take The Lady up the isle" (not some appalling euphemism it should be pointed out) as well as "the ladies smoking room" on the dust jacket, when it should be "The Lady's smoking room".
What makes you want to read on is the cast of characters out of which Johnson does manage to get good mileage, though how she (or they) are still working there after this is anyone's guess, but I would have loved to have heard more of the crazy uncle upstairs (possibly a book in itself?!).
I reached the last page of this book thinking that this was a bit of a missed opportunity, although I did go out and buy a copy of The Lady (and I'm only 36!) which is part of the point I suppose. (Not bad, by the way. Too many columnists, but well designed and some really nice covers.) However, if they are looking to boost figures even more they might want to stop public libraries stocking it, I'll bet there are a lot of 10p photocopies of the Ladygram made each week...
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Initial post: 16 Jan 2011 21:50:57 GMT
"Ben lunged towards my AC unit and switched it on. 'It's too hot in here,' he complained. 'That poor bloke was sweating like a rapist'."
page 247 of Rachel Johnson's a diary of the lady
"Then he told me I was a slut and to f*** off."
Rachel Johnson on Ben Budworth, page 271 of Rachel Johnson's a diary of the lady
"John Kercher (the father of Meredith, the student Foxy Knoxy was convicted of slaughtering) keeps sending in story ideas via email. It turns out he is an old-time contributor. Today I felt a rush of compassion and agreed to let him file a diary. Obviously, in the hope that he will be moved to write about his daughter. One has to be ruthless. How I felt when my daughter was killed in brutal sex-game by Foxy-Knoxy - hold the front page!
It's low of me, I know, but I am in the business of selling magazines, despite the 'Journal for Gentlewomen' tag round The Lady's neck."
Rachel Johnson's a diary of the lady, my first year as editor, page 222
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