Take it from me: writing a short book is much harder than writing a long one. A strict word count is a cruel tyrant, suppressing creativity and reflection. The need to sustain the basic narrative means that quirky anecdotes are jettisoned. Black, an old hand at brevity, manages to pepper his trim narrative with lovely frills. The mark of a good short book is its ability to inspire curiosity and further investigation. Black achieves just that.