First the negative. You have to be VERY interested in the New York media world of the 1980s to truly enjoy this book. And you have to be VERY interested in the day to day detail of what it takes to edit a successful general interest magazine. When Brown took over at Vanity Fair, she was a young (about 30) happily married British media world star. Maybe because she had not yet tasted failure or personal unhappiness, she lacks any larger world view and isn't particularly reflective about the Reagan era. Whatever helps drive up circulation numbers and sell ad space is grist for her mill.
The book's strength resides in Brown's smart, witty take on situations and personalities. She mixed with literary lions, celebrities and the social glitterati, and she has entertaining tales to tell. Wide open to experience and sharply observant, with a gift for the telling detail, her writing is a treat to read.