Endore, author of King of Paris, has set himself a major task in attempting a blend of biography (but in Dumas' own words extracted from his Memoirs), a critique and assessment of his works, illustrated with numerous and varied passages, some of them virtually self-sustaining. These are drawn from his best known works, The Three Musketeers, The Comte de Monte Cristo, from those less well-known today such as Ascanio and Memoirs of a Physician. That he scants his dramatic works, his verse and his short stories Endore confesses, but regrets most the lack of space to use more than he does from his travels -- even from his cookbook. Nonetheless, here is rich fare, illustrating those points he makes in his connecting thread of biography -- here was an ""astonishing career, astonishing genius, astonishing personality, astonishing life."" It may serve as a pre-view of Dumas for those today who have never read him.