'A loving act of historical and biographical recovery. No one until Haigh has worked out how to turn it all into a compelling
story. This is the singular achievement of one of Australia’s finest non-fiction writers ... Haigh is a master wordsmith, with a remarkable ability to convey much with little. [A] splendid book.'
– Frank Bongiorno, ABR
‘Riveting and at times harrowing ... With sparkling prose, meticulous research and with a command of both the law and politics, the story of Chester and the most promising years of Evatt’s life lift off the page. It is scholarly, erudite and beautifully written.’
– Troy Bramston, Weekend Australian
‘Haigh has narrative skill and the journalistic nous to make the story immediate and compelling ... a very impressive book, meticulously researched, without strain or longueur and animated throughout by Haigh’s almost uncanny ability to nail the concrete detail that humanises the theoretical point.'
– Morag Fraser, The Age & Sydney Morning Herald
'Gideon Haigh is one of Australia’s most versatile and skilled historians.'
– Geoffrey Blainey
'This new biography of HV Evatt lifts the lid on his early life as a brilliant barrister and creative Justice of the High Court of Australia. It reveals the wellsprings that gave birth to his humanitarian and internationalist values that later helped in the creation of the United Nations. It helps to explain Evatt's valiant defence of liberty in fighting off the attempt to ban the communists in Australia. We need to constantly renew our acquaintance with such values. This book reminds us of Evatt's flawed genius but deep motivations, lest we ever forget.'
– The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG
'Here is a master craftsman delivering one of his most finely honed works. Meticulous in its research, humane in its storytelling, The Brilliant Boy is Gideon Haigh at his lush, luminous best. Haigh shines a light on person, place and era with the sheer force of his intellect and the generosity of his words. The Brilliant Boy is simply a brilliant book.'
– Clare Wright, Stella-Prize winning author of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka
‘Gideon Haigh has a nose for Australian stories that light up the past from new angles, and he tells this one with verve, grace and lightly worn erudition. I couldn’t put it down.’
– Judith Brett, The Saturday Paper
‘An absolutely remarkable, moving and elegant re-reading of the early life of an extraordinary Australian. Gideon Haigh is one of Australia's finest writers and thinkers … mesmerizing … one of the best Australian biographies I have read for a long time.'
– Michael McKernan, Canberra Times