I am a huge Benedict Cumberbatch fan and am dying to see what he does in The Imitation Game, the film in which he plays the mathematician Alan Turing. I am sure he will bring Turing to wonderful life as he has done in many other roles but a film can only cover so much so I wanted to read something about Turing before seeing the movie and found this really excellent biography by Andrew Hodges.

The great thing about this book is that the author is a mathematician and can explain the details of Turing’s work – as a scientist, mathematician, and a code breaker – in a way that is easy to understand. He is also wonderful at the emotional nuance of Alan’s life, who was a somewhat odd – a student was assigned to him in school to help him maintain a semblance of tidiness in his appearance, rooms and school work and at Bletchley Park he was known for chaining his tea mug to a pipe – but he was also charming and intelligent and Hodges brings all the aspects of his personality and life into sharp focus.