Mallon writes engagingly about the diaries of hundreds of people, well known and obscure -- the reasons they wrote, what they wrote, what they made of themselves and their times. His judgments are honest but fair: Anais Nin's diaries had "an off-putting Delphic pride," with "what seems a biological inability to refrain from recording expressions of praise that have been directed to her by others." Stendhal "knows what a magnificent cad he is," and his diaries are "so great that by their end one would rather be him than read him."
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus