I read this book while on holidays. Leser's journalism is admirable and this memoir is new territory — startling, discomfiting and eye-opening: brutally self-confessional. Certainly the relations between an middle-aged child and an already aged parent becomes ever more resonant. But there are many episodes: imagine the author curled up in foetal position, later on, surfing. Then driving his car with his partner into contested ground in the Middle East and barely escaping with their lives. O, M, Gee. 'To Begin to Know' is highly entertaining in its very particular way — I read it inside of two days — and terrifically affecting. I can see on the book cover a line like this: "A brave and inspiring story" and it would be truth in advertising.