This one I had been saving up and it did not disappoint. While it didn’t have quite as great an impact as Any Human Heart had on me, it was nevertheless a masterclass in writing. Every word counts with William Boyd. The story is as exciting and imaginative as it is enthralling. The fact that the events through which the main character lives and the situations in which he finds himself throughout his long life seem almost far fetched only heighten the entertainment value. Still, Boyd always manages to hall it back from being totally unbelievable. Perhaps this is because of the very real frailties and tragedies of a long life that he sows into the narrative along the way making this a hugely wise and thought provoking novel.