I was researching the life and times of John Donne for a new play "Reinvention" ([...]) and wasn't really getting very far. I had previously found Donne to be distant and dislikeable, a careerist who was allegedly willing to betray his faith (Catholicism) despite hailing from an impressive lineage. Somehow, it didn't add up. His poems still remained inaccessible, his life, relatively uninteresting. Then, I discovered Dennis Flynn. Not only was this book responsible for a complete reveresal in my opinion of Donne's life, it made me look more carefully at the poems - and I began to understand that here, at last, we have a drama, a man whose life was a constant paradox between his past, present and future. Not only that, Dennis Flynn writes with a clarity and an ease of style which masks the fact that this book is based on solid research - with a welcome degree of free thinking thrown in for good measure. Read this book - Flynn demonstrates more than anything that he understands the man (Donne) and his times elevating this biography beyond a dry, linear approach.