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on 16 August 2011
This is actually Sharon Marshall's second foray into book writing; she co-authored Tara Palmer Tomkinson's book The Naughty Girls' Guide To Life. I haven't read it, I'm not a fan of TPT, however if it's as easy a read as Tabloid Girl it may be worth reading so I think I'll have to be on the lookout for it. I have to admit, that Sharon's writing style is so readable it's unreal, I would hazard a guess that should she branch out into writing fiction, she would indeed be quite successful. I for one would buy her books. I assume it's always difficult to write/read memoirs - particularly for reviewers, I hate reviewing non-fiction - but Tabloid Girl is an effortless read and it seems as if it was written effortlessly too.

Tabloid Girl is everything I thought it would be, it's gossip-y, it's full of completely ridiculous stories that sound more fiction than non-fiction and it's just a fun and enjoyable read. The stories Sharon recounts, as I say, sound like complete and utter fiction but they aren't, obviously. The things a tabloid journalist go through aren't pretty and if I was ever thinking about going into tabloid journalism, this book would put me off. In fact anyone thinking of working in tabloids should steer well clear of the book, because it's not as fun a job as it may seem. I did expect a bit more name-dropping, but there wasn't any at all, which I assume is down to legal issues. Yes, there are celebrities mentioned - Jady Goody and her mother, Jeremy Paxman and others - but when it comes to the meaty parts, the celebrities who actually pay to be in the papers and the couple who constantly talk about each other to keep themselves in the papers, no names are actually named, which is mildly unfortunate.

Tabloid Girl is an excellent read though, and it really opened my eyes as to what it's like to be a tabloid journalist. It's easy to see why Sharon eventually wanted out, it is the kind of job that just drags you down constantly. Not to mention the fact her poor liver was probably near to collapse, particularly if it's true how much she drank during her years as a tabloid journalist; I'm fairly sure they all must be in a constant drunken haze, if Sharon is right. I digress. If you're into your tabloids and would enjoy reading about one woman's quest to make her name in the tabloids, then this is absolutely the story for you. However if you want to be a tabloid journalist, read it at your own peril, it'll put you off for life!
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on 20 June 2010
Well, this book does what it says on the tin. As other reviews have said, 'Tabloid Girl' won't leave Thomas Hardy or Charles Dickens quaking in their graves, but it will give you a laugh. I was given a copy by a friend (as I used to work for a tabloid magazine), and sped read it on a lazy Saturday morning in bed. It is written very simply, but then I never expected anything else, but it also surprisingly unputdownable... hence reading it in one sitting, and even finishing it in the bath after I forced myself to get up!! The cover is off-putting as it plays down the intelligence of Marshall, but that's probably not her fault. They do say you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but if I saw 'Tabloid Girl' in a shop with this cover, I'd not even pick it up. That aside, it's a fun read. As a former journalist, I identified with much of what she said, but I also wondered what any aspiring young journos would make of it. Be interesting to find out.
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on 18 November 2010
I tore through Tabloid Girl at speed, and reading it certainly made a nice break from a glum, academic book I'd been plodding through at the same time. Sharon Marshall's memoir of life as a tabloid journalist is undoubtedly amusing, giving great insight into the bonkers world of working for a red-top newspaper, but it also leaves a rather unpleasant aftertaste.

There are no two ways about it: tabloids are grimy, and even an irreverent look at the tabloid newsroom still makes the reader feel... grimy. It doesn't help that Marshall splices in stories about her crap love life alongside her journalistic adventures. I think she fancies herself as a real-life Bridget Jones, but I found the stories more depressing than funny. I just kept thinking: why do you hate yourself so much just because you don't have a boyfriend?

I love reading books about other people's jobs, and the parts of this book that concerned life on Fleet Street fitted the bill nicely. The drunken cavorting, however... eh, I could have done without it.
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on 27 July 2011
I knew Sharon before she was the tabloid girl she became.

It's a period of her life that she's tippexed out giving the impression that she went straight from local papers to Fleet Street, she's also airbrushed her looks, perhaps through paranoia. She was, in the lingo of the book, "a stunner". Not the frump you'd think from reading this. Perhaps she spent too much time around showbiz types.

She's always written well. Very well, this book is an ideal holiday read, light, entertaining and something you'll zip through by the pool. There are fantastic turns of phrase and excellent character descriptions. She treads lightly on details of who, what, why and when, although I guess with a bit of Googling you could fill in a lot of the blanks.

In the light of the recent phone-hacking shenanigans one comment is particularly revealing: a hack used listening into voicemail so much he was known as "The Olympic Torch", because to research stories he never went out.

Like any red-top read it, enjoy it and throw it away.
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on 5 October 2010
So, so funny at times, the things that people get up to for a job in newspapers!

I loved reading this, so funny and light hearted at times, but there must have been times where 'Sharon' thought 'is this for real?' Fancy meeting your heart throb only to have to tell him 'you have the trots'. For which one you will have to read the book to find out.

Very much a fun and girlie book, one that will have you trying to find out just who is who in the celebs.

Makes you think 'do you want a job in the newspaper industry?'
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on 21 May 2010
I'm writing this at 5.30am having just finished reading 'Tabloid Girl'. It was such fun I couldn't put it down. Having worked in the media myself, albeit only on the periphery of the lifestyle that Sharon Marshall writes about, I know it's all true but it's still a bit shocking when it's actually spelled out. Anyway, I'm off now to read the morning tabloids to try and spot the stories planted by the 'close friends', the 'sources close to XXX' and the 'industry insiders'. If you're the sort who's inclined to believe what you read in the papers, you'll wise up after finishing this book.
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on 20 December 2011
I've just watched Sharon Marshall giving evidence to the Leveson enquiry [...]It's clear that this book is mostly made up. Don't expect it to be an honest account of her life ; it's not intended to be. She has admitted that many of the stories in it have been given "top-spin" and must not be taken too seriously. Take it as a work of fiction based loosely on a few facts.
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on 23 May 2010
Riotous tales from the tabs, with a neat line in self deprecating humour, the likes of Piers Morgan and Mazher Mahmood should take note. It's possible to dish the dirt on your journalistic career without the hubris..
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on 2 June 2010
Loved this book! The author has some amazing tales to tell, and is also very informative about the workings of the tabloids, and what the hacks are prepared to do to get a story. As well as being an intriguing insight to a murky world, this book is full of humour and spirit, and well worth reading, even if you don't particularly like the way Red Tops operate. I eagerly await Ms Marshall's next book!
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on 20 December 2011
This book was just the ticket for my commute to and from work on a crowded, often delayed, train. It was hilariously funny, shocking and most of all hard to put down. Easy to dip in and out of, Sharon has a fantastically humorous use of words. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend.
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