This is a biography of the great Lionel Bart, composer of the tunes from OLIVER!, a James Bond theme song, and many successful pop hits. The authors have had access to Bart's private papers, and the freedom to interview the composers's friends and document their candid observations now that Lionel is gone.
The writing style is refreshingly blunt (plenty of light profanities) which suits the milieu of the radical '60s. And although Lionel's tale is one of ascent, descent and retribution, the author's tackle it all with great humor and affection. As Lionel was an intensely private man who only publicly acknowledged his sexuality at a late age, the authors attempt some healthy guess work to reveal a more developed character. This is still an overview however, and perhaps we will never get an in-depth study of the man behind the chirpy, Jewish Londoner. He seemed resistant to any public introspection, and was wary of any probing biographies all of his life.
Still, if you want a fun read and a glimpse into the lively British show business of the period, then this is a real joy.