About Generally Speaking, I'd say Chris is right - overall, he has led an interesting life and comes across as pretty likeable. But that said, his aversion to editors is (once again) his undoing. There's a pretty good 300-page book in here about someone who lived through interesting times and had a hand in a lot of historically significant events. The problem is, of course, that the book is 581 pages long (counting the appendices).
There are far too many chapters here about things that he was only marginally connected to, at the expense of his own story - the family anecdotes dwindle to almost nothing once he becomes a lawyer. Chapter after chapter seems to exist because everything that crossed his sphere of influence deserved a part in the story. Why? Because he doesn't seem to want to let even the smallest story go by if it means he can mention the Reichmanns, Galen Weston, Conrad Black, etc, etc. He's a tad star struck by these leading lights of Canadian business (wonder what he thinks of Conrad since his fall from grace?) - the fact they are rich means that any chance to mention them is taken.
A good example - there is the story of how he, Weston, Black and CUAW president Bob White ("as far to the left in things Canadian as Black and Weston, each a tycoon in his own right, are to the right") are all made Officers to the Order of Canada at the same time. Seated alphabetically, Weston and White end up next to each other. The result? They chat amiably.
This is an anecdote?
The short shrift given to his family makes for some weird elliptical passages. Out of the blue, we get this: "It was 1999. Mary-O and I were visiting her mother figure, Elspeth Gormley, in England...". Who? We never heard of her before or after this cryptic reference.
I think what I found most disappointing was the small amount of space he devotes to his writing career. There is next-to-nothing about the how and why of any of his novels - nothing much about why he bothers to write, what he gets out of it (except money), his reaction to critics, to readers, what inspires him, what other books he's read etc. etc. All I got out of the chapter on his writing was the fact he fought to get Ultimatum published his way - without any of those interfering editors. And if ever a book needed editing, it's Ultimatum...
I note that while he is proudly conservative, it isn't always with a capital C. Mulroney is barely mentioned and he grudgingly admits to admiring Trudeau. Sometimes he's off-putting (a throwaway reference to "so-called global warming"), but by and large it wasn't as painful as I'd feared.
Advertisements for myself: Not one, but two references to Ultimatum 2, the new novel he is working on. Both references read like ad copy.