The 'xxx for beginners' are marvellous not just because they give you a valuable grounding in forbidding subjects, allowing you to approach primary texts with more confidence, but because they are so entertaining, even in subjects you have little interest in. Though this book is a much-needed introduction to and exposition of Freud's basic theories, making you feel clever as you join the dots you always knew were there but for the intimidating jargon, the real joy is in the irreverent presentation, especially the illustrations. These are full of in-jokes about Freud's life and times which are not always treated explicitely in the text, as well as being technically expert, imaginative and, sometimes, bracingly shocking. So while it is pleasing, in these anti-Freudian times, to be reminded of the man's incalculable importance and influence, the illustrations offer an in-built critique that puts everything in perspective. Great fun.