Averill writes eloquently about his Socratic capacity as a teacher. He is a sure-footed guide to the intricacies of Pelz’s thought and to its connections with his protean life.’
Ken Inglis, The Age, Saturday 18 August 2012
At the end, we know this man who lived trying to wrest meaning from every moment, who pursued a truth unbound by orthodoxy, who slipped and fell innumerable times. We can also marvel at the friendship and love between author and subject.
Mary Phillip, The Courier Mail, August 18-19, 2012
Averill digs deep, scours wide. We trust him – trust his integrity in chronicling Pelz’s life, trust his not playing haywire with the facts and with us. I think Pelz would have liked the book. And he would have thought the right man got to write it.
Maria Tumarkin , The Australian, 15 September
Averill is a constant but discreet presence throughout the book, as he meets and gets to know Pelz’s friends and family, visits his old home in Berlin, and tries to work out what his discoveries are telling him if anything, about Werner, and where the boundaries of biographical decency lie. The prose is a s clear as Orwell’s pane of glass, though he knows how to use a good anecdote, and the book flows evenly, deeply through Werner’s life. …Averill’s quest for the truth about Werner Pelz begins with questions: Can you really understand someone without knowing much of their past? What happens when you do know more? ‘Might I know more, yet understand less?’ He asks and in the spirit of his beloved teacher and friend he has no answer, except perhaps the one that Werner gave in a radio interview not long before he died: the most important thing is simply to go on thinking.
Peter Kenneally, Australian Book Review, April 2013
Averill truly loved Pelz, but he is nonetheless a skilled biographer not blind to the man’s flaw’s … Averill writes about Pelz’s last days with great feeling and compassion. I was reminded about my teacher and about all those who survived the monstrosity of the mid-twentieth century. The book’s poignancy
stayed with me for long after I put it down.
Grazyna Zajdow, Arena Magazine, May 2013