With its mass of detail this could be the definitive Syd biography. The detail does get a little overwhelming at times, though, - there's everything from the 60s London 'Underground' to the minutiae of the Abbey Road mixing desk! The first half is especially dense with detail; there is about one paragraph of Syd to five of the social milieu that surrounded him. Even so, this does give a clear idea of the sheer chaos of the times and the demands that were made on Syd throughout 1967. It is amazing to me that he was able to carry on playing gigs at all for as long as he did. One image that stuck in my mind was that of Syd turning up at a friend's place, barefoot, feet bleeding, in a dazed state, only to have Floyd roadies turn up and haul him off to the studio.
This is clearly a labour of love, though, and for this reasons some of the digressions that might irritate can be forgiven. The author even peppers the text with some of Syd's lyrics here and there (why say 'sky' when you can say 'starlit sky' etc). But this just adds to the book's charm. Syd's sister Rosemary has clearly been a great help, and it's good that a biography of this sort has had some family input. There is plenty of detail of Syd's later days, too, and while some of this can be quite upsetting it does appear that Syd achieved some peace of mind towards the end of his life.
Musically, there is also a wealth of detail of Syd's guitar style and playing, much of which I confess went over my head, though it is clear that, even in his most difficult period, he was a hugely talented player. As late as 1973 he was able to jam with the likes of Jack Bruce, which speaks volumes about his ability and 'togetherness'. Only when confronted by the demands of the music business did Syd balk. That's not to say this is a rose tinted view of him by any means; his frustrations and sheer mental anguish at times is plain.
A couple of nitpicks, aside from the occasional factual blip (a year wrong, a track mistaken for another). An index would have been nice, though this would doubtless have taken another year! Also, none of the quotes have specific references, though all sources are listed at the back. Perhaps this was to avoid irritating footnotes, but it does give an impression that the author has had fresh discussions with his sources, when actually it's a 'pick and mix' from articles and books going back over forty years. There's hardly a quote from Nick Kent's famous 'Cracked Ballad' article that hasn't made it to this book, for example. But all in all, if you are discovering Syd for the first time, this is a fine place to start.