I have read this book many times. I used to keep it in my computer bag and reference it while traveling like an old secret friend. Many were the times that I revisited the book and read short exerpts while drifting in and out of sleep on an airplane. If you like the Rumpole stories you will be delighted with this intimate look at a period of John Mortimer's life. Every time I read it I am astounded at the honest portrayal of his life as a child with his father, his experiences at public school, his journey through young adult hood and WWII in London. He gives us a portrait of a soul that is constantly seeking for truth while trying to come to grips with his ambivalent feelings about his father. The theme of his life and subsequent stories in the Rumpole series have always been "Things are not as they appear". Therefore, he can declare himself an athiest but yet extole the virtues of Christianity and as Caeser not be able to bridge the gap of belief. ("I am an athiest for Jesus") I thoroughly enjoyed his descriptions of British life in the late 1930's and then his journey from working in films for the British army to practicing at the bar, migrating to writing stories and novels and moving to the theater. This is a muted thoughtful but intimate portrait of a very good man that expressed himself through the arts. You will recognize several of his Rumpole characters in the stories about his real life. This a book that can be read over and over and I higly recommend it.