• Dilettante

  • True Tales of Excess, Triumph, and Disaster
  • By: Dana Brown
  • Narrated by: Dana Brown
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A witty, insightful, and delightfully snarky blend of pop culture meets memoir meets real-life Devil Wears Prada as listeners learn the stories behind 25 years at Vanity Fair from the magazine’s former deputy editor

Dilettante offers the best seat in the house into the workings of one of the great cultural institutions of our time.” - Buzz Bissinger, New York Times bestselling author of Friday Night Lights 

Dana Brown was a 21-year-old college dropout playing in punk bands and partying his way through downtown New York’s early-'90s milieu when he first encountered Graydon Carter, the legendary editor of Vanity Fair. After the two had a handful of brief interactions (mostly with Brown in the role of cater waiter at Carter’s famous cultural salons he hosted at his home), Carter saw what he believed to be Brown’s untapped potential, and on a whim, hired him as his assistant. Brown instantly became a trusted confidante and witness to all of the biggest parties, blowups, and takedowns. From inside the famed Vanity Fair Oscar parties to the emerging world of the tech elite, Brown’s job offered him access to some of the most exclusive gatherings and powerful people in the world, and the chance to learn in real time what exactly a magazine editor does - all while trying to stay sober enough from the required party scene attendance to get the job done. Against all odds, he rose up the ranks to eventually become the magazine’s deputy editor, spending a quarter century curating tastes at one of the most storied cultural shops ever assembled.

Dilettante reveals Brown’s most memorable moments from the halcyon days of the magazine business, explores his own journey as an unpedigreed outsider to established editor, and shares glimpses of some of the famous and infamous stories (and people) that tracked the magazine’s extraordinary run all keenly observed by Brown. He recounts tales from the trenches, including encounters with everyone from Anna Wintour, Lee Radziwill, and Condé Nast owner Si Newhouse, to Seth Rogen, Caitlyn Jenner, and acclaimed journalists Dominick Dunne and Christopher Hitchens.

Written with equal parts affection, cultural exploration, and nostalgia, Dilettante is a defining story within that most magical time and place in the culture of media. It is also a highly engaging memoir that skillfully delivers a universal coming-of-age story about growing up and finding your place in the world.

©2022 Dana Brown (P)2022 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Dilettante

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I don’t even know where to begin

If you have lived in New York, worked in media and are 40/50 it’s impossible not to love this book. I have replayed chapters, laughed out loud, shook my head at the relatability and sad comedy of it all. Magical.

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Fun ride

I enjoyed this book and hearing about the earlier days of Vanity Fair. Sad how the industry has changed. Fun to hear the stories behind the scenes.

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It goes nowhere

It's an exciting story about a young man going from sharing a shower in the living room of an NYC sh!thole, to a world of celebrities, parties, drugs, and alcohol, but the book goes nowhere. He's going to the Tunnel, he didn't know who Lee Radziwill was, but again it goes nowhere.

This performance could have easily been pared-down to 3 hours.

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This book is a total dish 🔥

I could not stop with this book! What a life, what adventures. Gives you a bird’s eye view into a dream life of travel, access, society, film, fashion and more. Dana Brown perfectly encapsulates early 90s NYC. He had fairy dust sprinkled on him and did not squander it. Oh to sit at the foot of Graydon Carter, such wisdom and chutzpah bestowed. I got lost in this world with every turn of the page. Profoundly riveting! Bravo ⭐️