14 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Poorly-written, agenda-driven, middle-brow, odd,
This review is from: Gordon Brown (Hardcover)
Reading this book is like sitting in a pub beside a bore with bad breath who has something he wants to tell you and just won't let go.
Bower has started with an agenda: that Brown isn't as great as many people think he is. He then fancifully constructs this odd and often laughable caricature of 'brooding' (how often does *that* word come up?!) Scotsman from 'dismal' Kirkcaldy, who dominates most of the UK government and civil service using aggression and dishonesty, who doesn't really understand economics, and who is basically harmful to our interests because his main aim is getting to no. 10 at whatever cost.
I'm not in a position to check Bower's facts. But I can say that the writing is astonishingly bad, eg. "... a hopeless cul-de-sac."
Much more serious is the fictions and illogicities that appaer on almost every page, eg. "Despite his self-declared passion for enterprise, he did not understand the arithmetic that high fuel taxes had deprived road hauliers of any profits." Man, it's excruciating at times.
I would not recommend this book, not because I am particularly sympathetic to Brown (though I am impressed by his unfashionable yet persistent interest in alleviating poverty), but because it's basically a low-quality piece of work. I started out hoping to be educated by a biographer of some repute, but soon found myself flinching at the low intellectual calibre.