... although his publisher describes Elusive as 'the first major biography of Peter Higgs,' Close seems less sure of that, describing his book as 'not so much a biography of the man but of the boson named after him'...Close’s description is more accurate. The biographical facts add up to more of a brisk sketch than a richly detailed portrait. This is not to deny that there are moments of sharp and even bitter insight ... It is those three weeks that anchor the real story in this book, a clear, vivid and occasionally even beautiful portrait of a scientific breakthrough: the tale of how a relatively obscure Scotland-based physicist developed a stunning theory, one that would help illuminate the invisible, particulate web that holds our universe together ... Close brings to this story an insider’s knowledge and a combat-ready willingness to defend Higgs against his occasional critics ... this is a very human telling of the ways that we’ve figured out at least some of the mysteries of our universe since the mid-20th century.
A fine biography of a vital 20th-century physicist and his work ... Close, a science writer, Higgs colleague, and professor of physics at Oxford, illuminates Higgs’ personal and professional life and makes an admirable effort to explain his complex work ... A lucid writer, Close chooses his words carefully and employs a torrent of analogies, but readers who skipped college physics may have to accept his enthusiasm on faith and enjoy an exciting account of the search, which required building the world’s most powerful particle accelerator (and the world’s biggest machine): the spectacular Large Hadron Collider beneath the French-Swiss border ... An expert examination of 'the holy grail of particle physics.'