MixedThe Irish Times (IRE)This is a headbanger of a book. Albrecht Dürer is on the cover but the digressions on whales and the wild swimming the author does at the drop of his bike if there is a bit of sea, river or lake nearby are bloody annoying ... It should be brilliantly illustrated. The figures work reasonably enough but the many black and white photos are often very poor and mostly without captions – like something out of a pre-computer college magazine short on letraset. The colour images are not integrated but at the back of the book. The publisher could surely have afforded a few florins extra rather than palming readers off with their own and the author’s websites ... All the more frustrating as Hoare’s prose scintillates, probes and twists, his descriptive power marvellously concise and encapsulating.