'The Master' is extraordinary in its being a work of fiction on a historical figure/author (that author being Henry James). I had close to no background knowledge about Henry James, even though I do own his 'the Portrait of a Lady' and know he wrote using extremely lengthy sentences - perhaps much like this one. I'm immensely enjoying a course on life-writing I am currently following. Mainly, I think that's because biography is such a psychologically intriguing form of history. This appreciation certainly amounted to a bigger appreciation of this novel. Friendships, events and character traits unrelated to my own or not especially spectacular gained my interest by contributing to the bigger picture I eventually formed of Henry James. As I mentioned in my reading update, the chronology/flashback structure Toíbín used felt problematic during my reading sometimes. However, it might finally offer the reader James' life in this less straightforward manner to represent with more sincerity the nature of 'a life' before it is written. All in all, I enjoyed reading this part fictional, part biographical account of Henry James and am looking forward to read some of his work. I am curious whether it will evoke the same image of its author for me as it did for Toíbín. Finally, I found the description of the London Review of Books a very fitting one: 'The Master gives us a genuine intimacy with one of the people who might have been Henry James.' This line struck me before I started reading and now that I have finished, I can wholeheartedly agree with its writer.