Quite simply this book looks as though it has been typed quickly and never revised. There are mistakes on almost every page that necessitated me having to work out the meaning of many of the sentences. Consider - 'voting' instead of 'doting'. 'hitter' for 'bitter' 'even' for 'every' 'bailer' for (I assume ) ballet'. This kind of shoddiness is on page after page. Illustrations are thoughtless. In the section on 'La Traviata' we are given a photo of Maria Callas but why not as Violetta? Synopses are ok but the so-called 'history' of Verdi's life are confined to weak anecdotes and opera first performances of the 'It was a failure but later became a success' variety. Asking over £8 for this is an insult. Spend £10 extra on Budden - who is extensively quoted in this weak attempt to trace Verdi's creative life. His book will serve you better.