I first heard of this book in the late nineties, when I picked up Farson's excellent autobiography in a library (remember them?). However it was hard to find, and the sensational title slightly put me off. Now that everything seems to be available again, I bought it on a whim last Christmas. I was not disappointed. Farson writes well, like the professional journalist he was, and mercifully the book is less scandalous than I had feared. In fact it serves as a highly readable general introduction to the paintings and personality. Plus a guide to the rather intoxicating 'Carry on Soho' of the French Pub and Colony Rooms and all the characters- John Deacon, Bruce Bernard, Henrrietta Moraes etc- of that post-war period. I was never entirely convinced that Farson knew Bacon that intimately- he had a vested interest in exaggerating his friendship to justify a thirst-quenching advance. As a result the book rarely catches fire- the structure is all too chronological, and it would have been more compelling to have begun with the pivotal relationship between Bacon and George Dyer, and work backwards and forwards from his suicide on the eve of a prestigious award. Once an artist achieves the status of Francis Bacon- somewhere between religious faith and, to the investors, maintaining the value of a currency, it becomes impossible to evaluate his paintings objectively, and Farson does not try to. Instead, at least in the last few chapters, you start to feel you are getting a little closer to the man.