Most biographies I've read, the opening chapters are a bore of mundane details of the person's childhood that are uninterestnig and nearly always read the same. In contrast, Ian Gibson's writing style is so lush, that even the detailed history of the Dali family before Salvador was born are compelling. Gibson gives you the feel of the Spanish countryside and the era in which Dali and his forefathers lived. Gibson is a careful biographer as well. Instead of taking Dali's own autobiography, "The Secret Life Of Salvador Dali," at face value, Gibson researches Dali's life and points out discrepencies and exaggerations of Dali writings. It led me to reread Dali's own writings and gave me further insight into the mind of the artist. I enjoyed reading about Dali's relationships with other painters (Surreal and otherwise), writers and poets such as Lorca, and his love of jazz. Far from a dry outline of a famous person's life, this book makes Dali come alive.