The Michael X story is a tragicomedy of the sixties.
It's the extraordinary, all but forgotten story of a hustler from Trinidad who conquered swinging London.
Michael X was the man who knew everyone - from Muhammad Ali to Alexander Trocchi, Malcolm X to John Lennon, William Burroughs to Leonard Cohen.
He was an extraordinary figure who became the public face of black Britain in the late '60s, before the media tired of him and he fell victim to the hustler's classic mistake - believing his own hype.
He moved back to Trinidad, started a commune and dreamed of becoming his country's President.
Instead two dead bodies were found on his land and he was convicted of murder and hanged three years later, despite the best efforts of his celebrity supporters. This biography expertly places Michael X in context.
It evokes the many worlds he inhabited, both physical worlds - Trinidad in the '40s, Tiger Bay in the '50s, Notting Hill in the '60s - and cultural ones - emigrants, beatniks, revolutionaries.
The Michael X that emerges is not simply the black bogeyman familiar from the British press of the '60s, but a complex individual, full of contradictions: brash and insecure, funny and menacing, black and white, a trickster and as serious as your life.