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After such a long wait, a bit of a disappointment
on 1 October 2013
Don't get me wrong, much of it is in PLF's inimitable style, and frankly it's a great relief to (almost) finish the journey having been stuck in limbo at the Iron Gates for several years since reading volume 2.
But of course having been compiled by his biographer and literary executor from the notes he left behind, it's not exactly what PLF would have written had he finished it himself. I was particularly disappointed by whole sections that PLF couldn't remember, and by the inclusion of quite a lot of material about what happened to Romania and Bulgaria after the impending war and from some of PLF's subsequent visits - which all feels rather like padding and an unnecessary diversion.
In my view it doesn't work as a stand-alone piece of literature, so if you haven't read the first two volumes don't start here. If you have, then it completes the journey, and the trilogy.
This book documents, in a slightly unsatisfactory manner, the final missing piece from what was, by any measure, an extraordinary life.