This is not really a biography & not really a work of fiction but rather something inbetween. The book tells the story of Rudi Nureyev from his early life in Ufa to his days dancing on the stages of the Western world. It's writen in McCann's wonderful, almost poetic prose. Every minute detail is described & brought to life. From the plaster moulds on a ceiling to the image of a man walking down the street. This transports you along with the story. It's told from the point of view of Nureyev's friends, family & colleagues. The only criticism I have is that sometimes this was a bit disjointed & it took me a while to work out who was now telling the tale & the time frame. But other than that, I enjoyed the different voices. Rudi's decadent life in the West is told in contrast with the one he left behind & we also get an insight into Soviet life; queuing for hours to buy sugar that isn't there & how even the briefest connections with the wrong man can taint your life. I had only heard the name Rudolf Nureyev before reading this & it has encouraged me to seek out the biographies McCann mentions in his acknowledgements. I adore this book. It's one to lose yourself in & one I will be keeping to read again, instead of passing on as I so often do.