36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Fully does justice to Burton's amazing character and life., 4 Sept. 2001
This biography fully does justice to Richard Burton's astonishing career and character; not dry, academic or dull, and without any of the amatuer psychology and supposition that so often clouds modern biographical insight. Burton lived the life of which (especially Victorian) heroes were made: a brilliant linguist, expert swordsman, Sufi mystic, explorer par excellence, participant in the Great Game. He achieved more in countless fields than even the most impressive of men achieve in one. Edward Rice's book fully captures both the multi-faceted nature of this great man, examining his life in detail and conveying the rich sense of adventure and curiosity which drove Burton through India, Central Asia, Africa, South America, and richly evoking the time and character of these exotic, hypnotic places. Burton himself was a great storyteller and it is in this vein, perhaps, that the book best elicits its subject: fascinating, admirable, beguiling. Thoroughly recommended.