“…a wonderful book, satisfying at every level. All of the principal inhabitants of the book (whether loved or not) were, on the page, absorbing characters. While John LeCarre might not have found his father especially outrageous, I found the portrait of Epstein’s father’s personality and behavior sufficiently disturbing and compelling to motivate reading the chapters to follow. As for the other persons of interest, I noticed early, and appreciated, their variety. (I was reminded of a lesson offered many years ago by a character in a Donald Barthelme short story: When you go to a party, if you make sure to talk to the oldest person there and the youngest person there, you will always have a good time.) The book was even more satisfying as “memoir.” Granted, as an academic and an avid fan of novels set in academia, I’m probably an easy audience–and it doesn’t hurt either that I self-identify as a “social scientist.” (Yes, this is now my sexual orientation.) But what I find impressive about the author’s life as it appears in the book is the great range of experience it encompasses, experience facilitated by the incomplete divide between scholarship and practical social work, between teaching and consulting, and by openness to seemingly every opportunity that came his way, whether prompted by a sabbatical, a divorce, or simply some sort of encounter from out of the blue. Yes, I found the characters written about interesting in themselves, but their principal function IN THE BOOK is to provide a great peg on which to hang the many threads of a very full and successful life. But what I most appreciated about the book was simply the artfulness of its construction–not just at the level of the sentence or paragraph, but the book’s overall shape. For me it was a great source of aesthetic pleasure.”