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Reviews

  • 'This is the best biography yet of the media magnate Robert Maxwell - by turns engrossing, amusing and appalling... it slips down as richly, easily and pleasurably as a tablespoonful of Beluga caviar'

    Robert Harris, Sunday Times
  • 'Electrifying... the supreme chronicler of modern British scandals'

    Mail on Sunday
  • 'This is such a richly detailed, well-written, gripping biography I wished it could have been twice as long'

    Lynn Barber, Daily Telegraph
  • 'I have a shelf full of books about frauds, but this one is by far the most enjoyable. By turns self-righteous and revolting, Maxwell makes the perfect villain'

    Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday
  • 'Any good biography of a mountebank depicts not only its subject but also the ambivalent society that accommodated the monster. John Preston's Fall does this with deft understatement ... Preston's A Very English Scandal used an almost novelistic eye to revive a well-worn scandal. Fall is equally satisfying'

    Quentin Letts, The Times
  • 'An absorbing profile of the war hero turned rogue ... Preston comes to his subject with the advantage both of hindsight and his great skill at exposing hypocrisy and subterfuge ... he has an eye for the telling detail and an ear for the revealing quote'

    Observer, Book of the Week
  • 'There have been many books written about Robert Maxwell, but surely none as pacy, entertaining and jaw-dropping as this one... yes, this is quite a book'

    Daily Mail
  • 'Preston has written a wonderfully ­entertaining book and interviewed almost everyone who crossed ­Maxwell's path in his heyday. He has an eye for comedy and drama and, where he explains his subject's shady and dauntingly complex business dealings, he does so clearly and succinctly'

    New Statesman
  • 'Irresistible page-turning pace ... what emerges from Fall is a vividly grotesque picture of the emperor showing off his nonexistent new clothes to an applauding crowd of courtiers - politicians, editors, bankers - who all too willingly suspended any disbelief they may have felt'

    Francis Wheen, Spectator
  • 'John Preston's book Fall, a recounting of the life of one of the most extraordinary figures in British corporate life, is timely ... almost 30 years since Maxwell died at sea in unexplained circumstances, it is possible to look back on his story and the fraud as a great, sweeping whole, a bridge from the second world war to the last years of the media barons before the internet began ... Preston tells the story well ... its strength is in telling the grand sweep of an extraordinary life'

    Financial Times

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