Many books have been written about Boris Karloff, some perfunctory, some exhaustive, but probably none can match Cynthia Lindsay's "Dear Boris" in terms of presenting the iconic actor as a human being. Lindsay was a longtime friend of Karloff's, which gives her special insight into him, but she has also done a great deal of research into his life, which was not easy, since he obscured so much of his personal history for still enigmatic reasons. Karloff was the youngest son of a rather harsh Anglo-Indian family, and was expected to follow in the "family business" of diplomacy, but instead went rogue and became an actor. He struggled for decades until achieving stardom in "Frankenstein," but never let that stardom go to his head. Yet he remained a somewhat mysterious figure, never revealing too much about himself, and blithely sailing through any attempts at biography in his lifetime with a ready wit and a host of prepared stories. In real life a kind and gentle man, as opposed to his roles, he was nonetheless a tartar when it came to fighting for his own and fellow actors' rights, having helped to establish the Screen Actors Guild, and remaining a driving force in the union for decades. Cynthia Lindsay creates a full picture of the man--at least as full as was possible, given his dedication to privacy--and "Dear Boris" remains an essential work for Karloff fans.