Monday, August 3, 2009

BabyBarista reviewed by leading employment barrister Daniel Barnett

Nice review of BabyBarista and the Art of War from leading employment barrister Daniel Barnett. To read it either click here or see the text below. To sign up to Daniel's employment law mailing list, click here.

BabyBarista and the Art of War. Bloomsbury 2009

Having followed the BabyBarista Times Online blog avidly now for three years, I approached the book with concern that this would be a 'cut and paste' job reproducing what has gone before.

But, to my delight, the author has produced a hugely expanded version of the famous BabyBarista blog, with characters fleshed out, plotlines expanded and Machiavellian intrigues bursting out of every page. It is an incredibly funny satire of life as a pupil barrister, seen through the eyes of the eponymous 'BabyBarista' (or BabyB as he endearingly refers to himself throughout).

BabyB is a charming yet ruthless cross between Sir Humphrey Appleby and Frances Urquart, but without the grey hair and instead with a eye for the ladies (in particular, the sultry character known as TheVamp and his good friend Claire - the only character with a real name throughout the whole book). Plotting his way around the intrigues of a fictional set of Chambers, BabyB manipulates the hopes and fears of his rivals in an effort to win the golden chalice at the end of pupillage - a tenancy.

Tim Kevan's view of the Bar is far more worldly than that of John Mortimer or Caro Fraser. This is no whimsical portrayal of a collection of eccentric individuals. Rather, the author describes a world of individuals motivated by ambition and money living side-by-side with the more traditional, honourable barrister most frequently seen in fiction.

This book deserves to be on every bookseller's Top 10 list - it is screamingly funny, bitterly satirical and hugely informative about the problems of life during pupillage, told by a man with great love for, and knowledge of, his profession.

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