John Wilson, aka Anthony Burgess, died in November 1993 the author of 32 novels, various televison/film scripts, translations from various languages of plays, opera libretti, etc, a composer in his own right, a televison personality, teacher, member of the royal society of literature, etc etc.
Here we have a biography that has taken, or so it's claimed, twenty years to write. And yet it makes no use of the major sources? Often quotes coversations from the past - from memory? - without sourcing the information. It is obviously a resentful book, but worse is basically flawed, especially with regard to the facts of Burgess / Wilson's life.
Further it ends in 1968? Thus twenty-five years of very (most?)productive life is ignored - who knows why? - and that part of Burgess' life that it does cover, consist of a number of wild and unsubstantiated assertions - which factually are wrong, and in some instances border on total absurdity.
Burgess doesn't deserve such shallow treatment. He was a great writer, a modern, who eperimented with form and style, and who enlarged the possibilites of the English novel for his contempories and those who follow after him.
A great disapointment as a true depiction of Burgess, but a good example of biography as fiction - very unconvincing fiction, to be sure.
We must all await a rational, well researched and calm biography of someone who was after all said and done a remarkable personality.