The Vanity Fair Diaries

1983-1992
Narrated by: Tina Brown
Length: 16 hrs and 41 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (382 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Tina Brown kept delicious daily diaries throughout her eight spectacular years as editor in chief of Vanity Fair. Today they provide an incendiary portrait of the flash and dash and power brokering of the Excessive '80s in New York and Hollywood.

The Vanity Fair Diaries is the story of an Englishwoman barely out of her 20s who arrives in New York City with a dream. Summoned from London in hopes that she can save Condé Nast's troubled new flagship Vanity Fair, Tina Brown is immediately plunged into the maelstrom of the competitive New York media world and the backstabbing rivalries at the court of the planet's slickest, most glamour-focused magazine company. She survives the politics, the intrigue, and the attempts to derail her by a simple stratagem: succeeding. In the face of rampant skepticism, she triumphantly reinvents a failing magazine.

Here are the inside stories of Vanity Fair scoops and covers that sold millions - the Reagan kiss, the meltdown of Princess Diana's marriage to Prince Charles, the sensational Annie Leibovitz cover of a gloriously pregnant, naked Demi Moore. Within the diary's cinematic minutes, the drama, the comedy, and the struggle of running an "it" magazine come to life. Brown's Vanity Fair Diaries is also a woman's journey, of making a home in a new country, and of the deep bonds with her husband, their prematurely born son, and their daughter.

Astute, open-hearted, often riotously funny, Tina Brown's The Vanity Fair Diaries is a compulsively fascinating and intimate chronicle of a woman's life in a glittering era.

©2017 Tina Brown (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Vanity Fair Diaries

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

There is something about the Brits...

Can’t image any American-English speaker who could so casually drop these lines without pretense or malice: noting “the wrinkled back of his neck looked like foreskin,” says a tiresome person gives her “herpes of the brain,” describes someone as looking like “a pear with a permanent wave,” so accurately pegs Jackie Kennedy’s “strange stare,” describes her much loved new baby as “my dear pink worm.” And on and on and on. Thoroughly enjoyable to me. As others have mentioned, this book isn’t for everyone. If you have no idea who Henry Kissinger or Rupert Murdoch is, don’t know or care the difference between The New Yorker and New York Magazine, thinks AIDS has always been curable with meds or Fleet Street is about running, skip this one.

13 people found this helpful

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Intriguing

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. My friends who are fascinated with New York society or simply the 1980s.

What did you like best about this story?

It describes an incestuous world- a world so narrow in scope that I found it fascinating. A little disturbing to find out that journalists seemed to not have a problem regularly socializing with their subjects- very disillusioning.

What about Tina Brown’s performance did you like?

Because she lived it, she emphasized the right stuff.

5 people found this helpful

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  • 08-06-18

Very repetitive!

Tina Brown knows magazines and her work re-inventing Vanity Fair was amazing. Though not a big follower of Vanity Fair I remember a lot of the cover photos she mentions in the book and I did enjoy learning how they came about. But that's about all I enjoyed. The majority of the entries are lists of names of people she ate, drank or partied with and the places they occurred, dotted with jabs at the other guests.

3 people found this helpful

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Delicious!! Erudite, smart, wonderfully gossipy!

Absolutely yummy--if you lived through the sparkly, over-the-top eighties, where the real cult of personality flourished, the happenings and the names will jump out once again...but in real context. Tina Brown is brilliant ..a combo of high intelligence, great literary style, and spot-on observations.

3 people found this helpful

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Looked forward to reading but was boring.

I love Vanity Fair and thought I would love this book. Sadly, night so much. Plodding, and boring.

3 people found this helpful

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Reader quicksand between anecdotes

Any additional comments?

A good editor should have encouraged Brown to chop a third of this slog through New York City in the Celebrity 80s. It's a long haul for a reader, even a New Yorker who realizes Tina Brown probably regards this as autobiography, full of "wry" observations on the decade. Benchley, Woollcott or Parker, she is not. Self-congratulatory in the extreme. Is the purpose of publishing a diary to make one like the author less? Or to trivialize or ignore every theme or current of the time? My worst purchase since City on Fire.

2 people found this helpful

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She says it as it is...

Tina Brown's story resonated. Of course we did not have the same experience but the feelings she describes is what connected me to follow her journey. The exceptional outter accomplishments are a fact to be read on any of her bio's. The part that impressed me the most was her emotional intelligence.

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Usually don’t like non-fiction nearly this much!

Tina Brown excellent at reading her own book-she reads it with such wit and heart. The story itself is so fun to read-I knew just a few characters but felt like I was part of every party! Great read-highly recommend it.

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Disappointing. Could have been such a fun romp!

Dreadful narration. Moderately interesting tidbits. No point of view - more a gossipy mirror to the 80s, london “society”, and New York “celebrities”. Like VF it’s a thin, unsatisfying piece of candy.

2 people found this helpful

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A long visit with a delightful, powerful friend

Tina Brown sounds like a favorite friend sharing her extraordinary personal, professional, creative, and family experiences over nearly a decade. She’s led a fantastic life through hard work, enormous talent, brains, inspiration, luck, charm, wit. I loved being in NYC with her during this oh so interesting time while she is woman, wife, mommy, boss, friend, cultivator of talent, taste maker, strategist, fingers crossed leaper & more.

2 people found this helpful