This is a tour de force. The densely packed text tells of the influences on a life. The use of language and first person mental perambulation is spectacular and we are left on no doubt as to the writers ability to work and rework his own experiences until they creak with intense scrutiny and significance. The effects of the various members of the household on the writers understanding of the world are seen through a piercing intellect even early on in life. And yet the book lacks a consistent honesty in that the stories told at the various ages of the writer do not always ring true. We are drowned in detail - detail that would not be available to a young boy, but which is intended to issue from his consciousness. It is hard to disentangle the self indulgence of the writer from the urge to inform an audience and for me, the book became difficult to pick up, rather than put down - the latter being the initial promise of this beautifully crafted personal wisdom.