This book is 600 pages too long. I'm a fan of Peter Sellers (his films at any rate), but to be honest, i don't think he did enough in his career, or his life to merit this great doorstop of a biography. Especially as, in the first few pages (and many hundreds of times in the ensuing 1,000 pages), the subject himself declares: "I have no personality of my own."
And so in between stories that illustrate time and time again the man's descent into quite shocking madness, we have a complete and overdone analysis of his every role, from Goon (at the more interesting beginning of the book), through to Clouseau, through to Being There... which Roger Lewis faithfully unpicks through to the very molecules of celluloid, looking for clues.
The problem is - there was nothing intruiging about Sellers, or at least this book doesn't find it. There is no definitive insight into the way he was. To do this, I think we'd have to consult a pyschological textbook, not a biography.
Often, I find Sellers screen characters quite hollow... without life, and this book is quite hollow, too. Yet, disagreeing with other reviewers, I think that Roger Lewis is a good writer, and I think this is an interesting take on the celebrity biography - largely non-chronological, the detailed footnote minutiae, an interesting and direct turn of phrase - but ultimately, his subject matter is such a bizarre individual that perhaps someone who didn't know him, and never met him, would always be floundering.