An excellent introduction to the life and work of Aristotle, written by someone who is an obvious authority on the man. Concise and intelligible, the book is ideal for beginners, accomplishing a surprising amount in a limited space. Barnes is clearly an admirer of his subject, but he doesn't let that admiration hold him back from offering fair-minded criticism at various stages of the book.
The first couple of chapters provide useful context by detailing the main stages of Aristotle's life and the political backdrop underpinning it. Then Barnes turns to the studies, offering short and sweet commentary and analysis of his works and ideas. Beginning with Aristotle's copious zoological research, Barnes moves on to his work on logic, metaphysics, politics, ethics, aesthetics, psychology and more. Finally, he offers a balanced analysis of Aristotle's influence and legacy.
All in all, a top-notch addition to the VSI series, and an essential one if you plan on tackling the later philosophers.