I thought this had the potential to be a bit of a bargain bin book but, apparently, I bought it anyway and it’s been on the ‘to-read’ pile for a while. I needed something reasonably light for this week so I picked it up and I must say it was not quite what I expected. A journalistic, well written account of the particularly interesting and significant world of the private investigator it was. A ‘read on the toilet’ stocking-filler it was not. I think perhaps they mis-sold it with the cover; it’s a tad more sophisticated than it might suggest. Either way, it reads a bit like one of those stylised expose films akin to the Big Short – one where you have to pay attention to all the players and with loads of dialogue. 

If you can get past the detail, it is actually really quite interesting and, I think, well balanced, although you can never quite tell for sure. After-all, it’s just one side of a story. Trust no one and all that. 

The Musical Human

Clearly a very knowledgeable author and a well researched book but I’m afraid this was not what I was hoping for. 

Although there were some really interesting insights into music and the reasons we as humans respond to it and to certain types, it delved far too deeply and far too greedily into historical detail. At times, the text was so densely packed with random historical names which seemed as if they had been crammed in there simply because they were there on the research notes. Of course these names and indeed many of their stories were profoundly surplus to requirement in my opinion. The writing was garbled at times, the structure fell apart as a result of all of the above and rather speculative and abstract conclusions and philosophical ramblings were far too common. More than once, I read a sentence that was, to my mind, complete nonsense. 

The middle section in particular gave me no enjoyment whatsoever. A shame because hiding in amongst the dry text book like prose, were some interesting thoughts and facts. But I would not recommend this book. To anyone really.