To dismiss this wonderfully acute book as light because it is anecdotal would be a serious error. Brassai not only knew Picasso when; he was also an artist whom Picasso admired. Brassai's is a privileged vision, and he notes Picasso's many foibles--some of them large--as well as many of his strengths as artist and person. Until I read this book, I was unaware of just how selfishly Picasso treated even those he considered friends and lovers. But, in reading Brassai, I also learned that Picasso was intellectually voracious, a man who read an entire box of demanding books each week--on top of his work as an artist and his assiduous, but very often misconceived, efforts to be a husband and father. The only other writers who knew Picasso as well as Brassai are quite probably Fernande Olivier (earlier) and John Richardson (later). Richardson writes much more elegantly than Brassai (even if you read Brassai in the original French)--and Richardson's excellent ongoing three-volume biography of Picasso is turning out to be the gold standard--but he is no more perceptive than Brassai. For the best view of the younger Picasso on the make in Paris, I'd go with Brassai. If you want to "know" Picasso, Brassai is a must-read.