What a strange species is the particle physicist. Generally brilliant (pretty much a requirement to work in the field at all), they also seem to get big helpings of eccentricity, bluntness, and arrogance. Combine that with the intense competitiveness of the field along with the general weirdness that is modern particle theory and you get one of the more unique sub-cultures of our time. The author does an excellent job of portraying not just Gell-Mann, the subject of this biography, but also many of the people he worked with in the field and the developments in particle physics that Gell-Mann did so much to usher along. Great read.