I loved this book. I found it very insightful; it gave a challenging but fair viewpoint, it was beautifully explained and argued. It was relatively short and uncomplicated. It gave a wide range of different viewpoints, along with More’s historiography.
If you are looking for a narrative of the man’s life this is probably not the one for you; but having said that, I thought the structure rather clever. It’s thematic, organised around questions about his reputation – was he really such a reluctant courtier, did he really hunt heretics, he he actually die for the liberty of an individual’s conscience? But in the main, as he goes through each one, he’s able to make it chronological as well, so it works both ways to an extent.
The big thing for me was that Guy in no way came across as being revisionist; he clearly admired the man for his exceptional talents. But I don’t believe in saints, and by the end I understood why we should admire Thomas More enormously, but accept that he’s far more interesting than the absurdly unbelievably perfect character portrayed in A Man for All Seasons. More had his failings; he was guilty of treating heretics as being unworthy of the same rights of silence he demanded for himself; he was a failure as a politician, a path he chose; he manipulated his reputation shamelessly. But I should point out that in all of these aspects, More was a man of his time. More never considered himself a saint, and I imagine would have considered his beatification a little daft. He and his contemporaries saw manipulating your reputation as a duty, not as dishonest. And in the context of the medieval view of Christendom, More was entirely justified in pursuing heretics.
Sadly, if you want to read the book, I think it’s out of print – but Abebooks have plenty. It was without a doubt the best book on Thomas More I read.