This is the second volume of autobiography from Simpson who, from 1966, has been one of the BBC's main news journalists. It follows honourably in the tradition of the earlier, very successful Strange Places, Questionable People. In this new book Simpson continues his account of experiences and encounters in some of the wilder reaches of the planet and, despite "having no overall theme" as Simpson declares at the start, but merely "ideas and stories as they came to me", this is a very satisfying book. Among the many experiences he recalls are Colonel Gadhaffi farting his way through an interview, visiting the KGB's private museum, watching a thief's hand being cut off, being bombed, as well as falling under the spell of Princess Diana. As one might expect from such a source, Simpson's prose is exemplary. Like his first book, he manages to communicate successfully the humour - as well as tragedy - behind news stories, large and small. A mad world, indeed, if this was not on a few Christmas lists this year.