Knowing little of Richard Burton, I bought this book solely on the strength of the excellent reviews it got in the press. I absolutely loved it: it is very well-written, interesting, insightful, warm-hearted, and self-deprecating. RB was an extraordinarily good writer, articulate, able to capture an atmosphere or an idea in a couple of words.
The book is a real page-turner as it describes the admittedly unusual and interesting lives lived by RB and Elizabeth Taylor (whom RB palpably adores and who is described very movingly). That being said, the main draw of the book is the insight it provides into the mind of a well-read, complex, gifted and deeply sympathetic man. I am very glad that I bought this book more or less by chance and grateful for having discovered the greatness of RB - both as a writer and an actor.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough including to anyone who would not normally read the diaries of a "celebrity". Yes, there are chronological gaps as RB appears to stop writing when life becomes too difficult and his opinions and actions are sometimes contradictory (working-class pride vs the glamorous lifestyle etc), but in the end, this is a gem of a book that easily stands on its own merits.