• "Of my contemporaries he had the most erudite and possibly the most brilliant mind"

    Salman Rushdie
  • "An epic piece of work of immense satisfaction... Awe-inspiring"

    The Times
  • "Comprehensively researched, elegantly written, perfectly balanced between the life, the books and the ideas"

    Independent on Sunday
  • "Quite simply, one of the most beautifully written, painstakingly researched and cleverly constructed biographies of this decade... Original, intelligent and observant"

    Literary Review
  • "A fascinating account of the man behind the myth"