...a rich combination of spy story, cultural history, social outrage and character portrait. Several recent biographies with an espionage angle have seemed to me despicable in their sensationalism and gullibility but Lownie writes with scepticism, decency and a sharp regard for truth.
A biography that reads as compellingly as a fine novel.
A fascinating story, racily recounted.
A magnificent biography...Burgess has all the right ingredients for an engrossing story and Lownie, who has spent 30 years researching this biography, makes the most of it... a narrative as gripping as a thriller.
A masterly biography.
A meticulously researched biography...an astonishing piece of research.
An abundance of vivid detail from many different voices, viewpoints and nationalities...Stalin's Englishman is a matchless and splendidly exciting read.
Andrew Lownie demonstrates that there is plenty still to be learned about Burgess...an enjoyable and convincing biography.
As one of this country's foremost literary agents, Andrew Lownie certainly knows what makes a good book, and in Stalin's Englishman he has delivered one of his own - many times over.
Awful human beings make for splendid biographies, and the traitor Guy Burgess was a terrible specimen of humanity...This terrible man is brought back to vivid life by this well-researched, finely written book.
Complicated, revelatory: a superb biography more riveting than a spy novel.
Exhaustive research, elegant construction, psychological acuity, wit and the necessary sympathy. Lownie shows that Burgess's treason was far more significant than had been thought.
In the sad and funny Stalin's Englishman, [Lownie] manages to convey the charm as well as the turpitude.
In this meticulous biography of the most colourful of the quintet, espionage expert Lownie argues convincingly that Burgess - often seen as a clownish buffoon - was the key member of the ring, and his treachery the most damaging.
Is there anything significant left to say about members of the Cambridge spy ring, Moscow's 'magnificent five'? The answer, judging by this book, is a resounding yes.
Not every question has been answered, but most have, and those that remain probably never will be.
One of the most important intelligence books in many years.
Scrupulous and comprehensive.
Shrewd, thorough, revelatory.
The first full biography of Burgess is fascinating on both his methods and his motivation - and proves a more compelling page-turner than any spy thriller.
'The most comprehensive, readable and faultlessly researched account of one of Britain's most notorious (but colorful) traitors. Now we know just about all there is to know about this wretched man who betrayed friends, family, country... the lot!'
This deeply researched new biography...Lownie has unearthed much fascinating material...well worth reading.
This exhaustively researched and absorbing book, the first full biographical study and likely to remain the definitive life.
There's world-class gossip here.
This superb biography captures the ambiguity Burgess always inspires.
Lownie's research is complete and impeccable. He has unearthed more facts on this case than anyone else writing in the field. Brilliant!
A comprehensive biography, which convincingly revealed quite how important Burgess was for his KGB handlers.
An impeccably researched biography, but also as an in-depth cultural study and a spy thriller of genuine, knuckle-gnawing tension.
An astonishing, unique story.
A remarkable and definitive portrait of the truly ghastly spy and traitor Guy Burgess who should surely never have been permitted to do us so much damage. And a portrait of the snobbery and laxity that permitted an Old Etonian who had changed sides to get away with it for so long.
Lownie brilliantly chronicles the life of the man at the centre of the Cambridge spy ring.