I learned of this book through a review in the New Yorker, and was so intrigued with the wonderful, tongue-in-cheek style and the almost unbelievable content that I put quite a bit of effort into tracking it down. It more than repaid that effort. The obituaries are not depressing; instead, they really are a celebration of the wonderful, zany variety of human nature. I feel privileged to have shared a century with many of the people in this book. Read, for example, of Margaret Mee, a botanical artist, who repelled a band of gold prospectors in Brazil by remarking, as she leveled a revolver at them, "I haven't had a lot of shooting practice, but really I think I'm quite good. After all, a steady hand and a good eye are absolutely essential qualities for a painter, wouldn't you say?" Or read of Nesta Cox, an English nanny working in France who became a hero of the French Resistance and had airlifted to her by the RAF not only supplies for sabotage but also packets of tea. Or read of the author BB, who "at the age of four . . . incontrovertibly saw a gnome." This book has it all: humble heroes and well-born villains, gay hairdressers and mad scholars. And when you finish it, there are three more collections: Heroes and Adventurers, Entertainers, and Rogues. Enjoy!