I'm doing something I haven't done before -- writing a review before finishing the book. I just couldn't get through it. I thought this might be useful info in and of itself.
My wife got this for me as a present because I guess she'd heard me speak glowingly of Turing while I was in graduate school. She got me the book on Cantor, et al, (same publisher) by DF Wallace awhile back and knew I liked that book, which I did, despite studying Cantor's ideas formally at the graduate level -- that book has some interesting tidbits on his life and tied it all together with his discoveries quite nicely.
I'd like to contrast this book with that one, briefly.
I felt DFW was competent, albeit inelegant at times, in his descriptions of Cantor's theorems. And, maybe more important, I got the sense that DFW loved the math and came to love the man (Cantor) through it; that, although a novelist, he was besotted with Cantor's mind and might have, had things gone a bit differently in his life, ended up a mathematician or a computer scientist instead of a writer. His enthusiasm was fun, even if it was somewhat untrained.
This book, however, is quite different. The author says he avoided math in high school and college, never really liked it, etc, etc, etc, and you know what? It shows. Where DFW used mathematical analogies, Leavitt uses literary references. Where DFW showed us Cantor through the lens of mathematics, Leavitt shows us Turing through the lens of homosexuality. DFW shows us how math shaped the man, Leavitt tries to convince us Turing's sexuality shaped his mathematics.
Often, the thesis becomes stretched and interpretation leads to, in my mind, over-interpretation - he mentions the rescinding of England's "acts of indecency" a few times, which is particularly curious given that happened in 1967 -- 13 years after Turing's tragic death.
I guess, in short, whereas I fully believe DFW would have researched and written about any person who generated Cantor's ideas (i.e., it didn't need to be Cantor per se), I got the sense Leavitt could have written about any scientist who was persecuted for being gay -- that person happened to be Turing.
Is this a bad thing? No -- it's probably quite interesting for someone who generally reads in the gay & lesbian studies genre to learn about this man's mathematical ideas.
It just wasn't interesting for this person, who generally reads mathematics books and wanted to learn a bit more about Turing the mathematician (i.e., not Turing the homosexual, although of course that would be part of any biography - just not necessarily its reason for being).