Top positive review
11 people found this helpful
a lively portrait of a remarkable man
on 14 April 2010
This is such a readable book that you don't notice the meticulous research and referencing. I felt I knew not only Burns but his many friends, lovers and correspondents. Whichever way you look at Burns he is an enigma. McIntyre does not gloss over Burns's questionable choices and sexual incontinence, nor does he try the retrospective cod psychology which is so prevalent in modern biography. You are free to make your own mind up. As I started to read this book I knew and loved many of Burns's works and that love has been enhanced in some cases by finding out more about the circumstances of Burns's writing them but, beware, I have been sadly disillusioned in others. Burns was seemingly capable of quite monstrous chutzpah and disingenuity often for very slight discernible reason. He was also pretty much of a loser although a tremendously sparkling and charismatic one. I would have loved to have met him - I think.