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Nigella Lawson: A Biography [Hardcover]

Gilly Smith

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Book Description

March 3 2006
This is the first-ever biography of the irresistible domestic goddess, Nigella Lawson. Born in 1960 into a family of privelege, this book covers her childhood, her early career at the Sunday Times and Spectator, her secret marriage to John Diamond, the loss of her sister and husband to cancer-both at early ages, and her tremendous success as the author of How to be a Domestic Goddess and host of Nigella Bites. This is a story of personal tragedy and public success, studded with a cast of celebrity friends and family. With her unashamed enjoyment for food and her curvy beauty, Nigella continues to fascinate and beguile.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Barricade Books (March 3 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569802998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569802991
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 16 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 544 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #509,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worthless and frustrating biography July 25 2006
By K. Thornton - Published on Amazon.com
I completely agree with the other review posted here. The book is mainly made up of quotes from Nigella's columns and other references with very little narrative. There's no real focus or direction, and most of the information is completely useless. Another frustrating element is the photo section. Why in the world do readers need to see three photos of Nigel Lawson and his second wife and children? The book hardly touches on them, and I would have rather seen some more photos of Nigella.

Definitely skip this book. Maybe someday something worthwhile will be written about this extraordinary woman.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much: He said, She said Oct. 4 2007
By M. E. Wood - Published on Amazon.com
Beyond the odd cooking appearance I never really knew much about Nigella Lawson so I was intrigued when I heard about Gilly Smith's biography. Smith has sorted through video footage, food columns, fashion articles, cookbooks and reviews to organize information about the cooking diva and her life.

The biography is divided into seventeen chapters and includes background on where Nigella grew up, her boarding school experience, her posh parents, her marriage to John Diamond (an award-winning broadcast journalist) and their children. Her career is highlighted from her early journalist days to her television shows and books; as well as her slow decline in popularity in the UK and her sudden birth of popularity in the U.S. Ending around 2005.

This biography was difficult to get into initially because it is delivered from a UK perspective with a lot of name dropping that means nothing to anyone over here not in the journalist or food business. The constant referencing slows things down and is really quite boring. I enjoyed getting to know Nigella but most of what I read was quoted or said by someone else and I felt throughout like I was missing something. Even the black and white pictures seemed to be from old stock footage, nothing personal.

A very different picture is painted of the Nigella her fans know and love. Despite this, Nigella comes across as a woman inspired by the intricacies of food with a compelling need to share them with whoever will read, watch and listen. She's easy to fall in love with.

I was looking forward to this glimpse into Nigella's life but was disappointed by the author's interpretation through columns, articles, interviews, cookbooks and videos. I did learn a lot about Nigella. But I think Nigella, a journalist in her own right, could have done a better job. Reviewed by M. E. Wood.
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A lot of words, but little substance July 18 2007
By Anita Weinberg - Published on Amazon.com
This book is just. . .hollow. It's clear that the writer either couldn't or didn't get any interview time with Nigella herself. It offers endless quotes pulled from articles about Nigella that have been published elsewhere, and lots of hearsay and opinions of people clearly outside her inner circle. And from a purely structural standpoint, it's just flat-out wordy as hell. I wish I could get paid as well as this author probably did for just cutting-and-pasting from other people's work!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars In a word, awful. March 7 2009
By a in nebraska - Published on Amazon.com
I love Nigella Lawson, and I really wanted to love this book. But it's just so badly written, there really isn't one positive thing to say. There is no chronological sequence to the information; it feels completely thrown together. The editing is just horrendous.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love anything written regarding Nigella Dec 31 2007
By Renee Updike - Published on Amazon.com
I am surprised about these bad reviews. I logged on to see why the poor review of this book. I read a book from cover to cover. From what I gathered the title does not say an authorized biography but just a biography. Nigella is such a private person she may never authorize a biography of herself nor will she write a book about herself. She may not think she is important enough to actually have a book sold about her. However, when a person writes for magazines as she does a little of herself will come through in her writing. I thought Gilly Smith did a great job at the research done with reading Nigella's writings and with interviews of some of her friends. I only read non-fiction and if Gilly Smith writes another I will read this author again. This author writes very fluidly and stays within the idea of the moment that captures the interest of the reader. If you read this book don't look for gossip about Nigella. It is just a book about very private person that I have found to be a most extraordinary person I very much look up to.
Thank You!

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