"The lives, loves and deaths of splendidly unreasonable inventors" is a brilliant analysis of 20 inventors who changed the world. Coller argues that there are basic personality types - Principal, Broker and Consultant - typified by certain traits that dictate the potential for success in the arena of invention. Few people have the full package and failure results when an individual who excels in one area of competence attempts to become all things. Coller focuses on the person rather the invention and the way in which he or she did or did not succeed in bringing that vision to fruition.On one level it is a collection of fascinating stories; on another level these stories provoke an unconventional look at the inventive process that created such life-changing products as: the telephone; the sewing machine; dynamite; the cinema; the safety razor; and vulcanized rubber, for tyres. Only historical figures are included, allowing the authors to examine the complete arc of success or failure. Each of the stories, all of which are personal, colourful and packed with quirky nuggets of information, illustrates a particular aspect of the inventive personality.