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Summary

A BBC Radio 4 book of the week.

From the number one best-selling author, a memoir full of hilarious, personal and surprising stories from their working life. This is the Secret Barrister at their very best.

Just how do you become a barrister? And why do only one per cent of those who study law succeed in joining this mysteriously opaque profession? If it’s such a great occupation, how come you work 100-hour weeks for less than minimum wage? And why might a practising barrister come to feel the need to reveal the lies, secrets, failures and crises at the heart of this world of wigs and gowns?

Nothing but the Truth charts an outsider’s progress down the winding path towards practising at the Bar, taking in the sometimes absurd traditions of the Inns of Court, where every meal mandates a glass of port and a toast to the queen, to the Hunger Games-type contest for pupillage, through the endlessly frustrating experience of being a junior barrister—as a creaking, ailing justice system begins to convince them that something has to change....

Full of hilarious, shocking and surprising stories from their working life, Nothing but the Truth tracks the Secret Barrister’s transformation from hang ‘em and flog ‘em, austerity-supporting 20-something to campaigning, best-selling reforming author whose writing in defence of the law is celebrated around the globe. It asks questions about what we understand by justice and what it takes to change our minds. It also reveals the darker side of working in criminal law and how the things our justice system gets wrong are not the things most people expect.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2022 Macmillan Publishers International Limited (P)2022 Macmillan Publishers International Limited

Critic reviews

"The SB is a gifted writer. Words tumble out with extraordinary fluency...entertaining and instructive." (Times)

What listeners say about Nothing but the Truth

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Shines a bright light!

I have listened carefully to all three books by the SB and believe she was clearly destined to write a detailed critique of her experiences of the criminal justice system in England and Wales to shine a bright light for those of us with a genuine and objective interest in the delivery of criminal justice for both victims of crime and their perpetrators.

In this latest book the SB takes us on her personal journey of discovery. Her early years experience of defending and prosecuting cases in both the Magistrates and Crown Courts are vividly shared with the reader and listener.

All Lord Chancellors should read all three books: The Secret Barrister; Fake Law and this the latest instalment before they set one foot in the offices of the Ministry of Justice. The SB’s books will be a fast acting antidote to the poison of popular political criminal justice rhetoric.

I look forward to more books by the SB when she takes Silk and her journey onto the bench...

1 person found this helpful

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True insight into the life of a Barrister

As a retired barrister the contents of this book rang true with me on every level. I think everyone should read it to discover the chaos that is the criminal justice system, how many hours a week we work, how many hours of unpaid work we undertake and exactly how serious and responsible the vocation is. I’m making all my friends and family read all SB’s books!

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Enlightening

Very interesting and enlightening book about British justice system. Seems the system may need overhauling!

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Truth Be Told

I've been following SB on Twitter for quite a while so I knew I would find the subject interesting and informative. I enjoyed the book but I did struggle with the narration

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SB

Another insightful book by SB. I can’t get enough of his in-depth books about our legal system. When’s the next?

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It was good

After hearing extracts on R4 I was intrigued to listen to some more.

A good listen with some eye opening ways in which the British justice system seems to barely function, but overall a small insight into an area of the Criminal Justice system that you would never know of.

Whoever SB is, I admire them

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Nice but not as good as previous two

Still thumbs up and thank you for a good read (listen) :) For a new readers, start with the previous books.

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what a wonderful set of books

I would definitely recommend this book and all the other books written by the secret barrister great insight to the British legal system

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Too similar to previous book

While i can see the angle (i think i can anyway) the author is taking with this book. Explaining there is more to judgments than media portrays this book doesnt offer enough to put it apart from the first book. Its interesting it parts but drags on in others, using previous material a little to often

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a wake-up call

That we need such a book to empathize with a profession that bears such great responsibility is an indictment of our society. We need empathy to understand and problem solve towards something better and this book is just the helper we need.