RaveThe Times (UK)These letters were a lifeline ... Sahm Venter\'s collection of Mandela’s prison letters, which has taken almost ten years to collate, is inspiring, heartbreaking, funny and occasionally dull. It enriches rather than transforms our understanding of one of the world’s most hallowed statesmen, who became South Africa’s first democratically elected president in 1994 ... The letters, presented chronologically, are interspersed with \'reader-friendly\' explanations and footnotes to remind us who is who in the cast of cousins, kings, friends and family known by a raft of nicknames. At its best, this is a book of Nelson Mandela’s wisdom; a tribute to positive thinking. Yet at 600 pages, nearly as long as his Long Walk to Freedom, it is a formidable read and probably best enjoyed, as Venter suggests, by dipping in and out many times.