From childhood through to adulthood - if not necessarily maturity - The Book of Life offers the literary journal of a lifetime, in the company of the most fascinating and talented figures in history.
From Alan Bennett's wartime childhood in Yorkshire to Mahatma Gandhi's experiment with cigarettes; Katherine Hepburn on her first acting job aged 21 and Primo Levi on being captured by Fascist militia at the same age; Darwin on his lifelong love - his work - and Nelson Mandela on his release from prison aged 71 ... life and living in all its manifold glories is represented.
With insights that encompass generations and continents, this is a uniquely enjoyable immersion in some of the world's best, and most personal, writing.
"In The Book of Life ... the reader is very aware of the marvellous, pulsing veined and passionate, unique-to-every-individual life force ... you dip into the pages and find treasure upon treasure ... we can enjoy an abundance of heart-felt outpourings ... fascinating ... like the vast spectrum of human experience collected in this book, it excites us and affords us a little shock of recognition"
"Occasionally a book comes along that is so well conceived and artfully constructed it demands a permanent place on a book lover's shelf - The Book of Life is one. This is an enthralling collection of memoirs and anecdotes ... Claxton has done a magnificent job in digging out fascinating works ... Moving, emotional, revealing - this is a book that devotees of the written word will read again and again"
"Bold and endlessly diverting ... Cleverly constructed as an autobiography itself, Claxton neatly tessellates the entries, creating telling juxtapositions, so that Einstein rubs shoulders with Muhammad Ali. This is insightful, humane and re-readable: a perfect gift"
"The perfect bedside book."