I so wanted to like this book but it really is a pale travesty of what it might have been. Toop is clearly very interested (I would hesitate to say passionate, as passion is the last thing to emerge through the prose here) in this topic and has clearly read very widely in putting the book together. What is not so clear is that he has understood what he has read. He draws indiscriminately on philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, myth, art, throwing ideas down as plods on unconcerned with making any sense of what he is relating and unclear as to what he is himself trying to say. At times it comes across as though Toop has been utterly defeated by not only his sources but, moreover, his own language as it slips out from his grasp and leaves the reader suffocating in excessive and ultimately meaningless sentences. There is, I think, a wealth of interesting ideas somewhere in the background of this book but Toop is no writer and is evidently not up to the challenge of grappling convincingly with or conveying these ideas.