No, he is a man who is spiraling into a vortex of delusion, mania and depression. But the book is about more than mental illness. It is a meditation on memory, its hopscotch, recursive nature and the extent to which forgiveness is possible for the memory-deprived.
Gustave Flaubert wrestles with the ravages of old age, religion, the joy and heartbreak of love, children, and more. Though each of these stories is just some 40 pages long, they loom larger in the imagination.
I have a book festish for the back matter of biographies and histories. I toggle between "selected" and "annotated," and back again. I even test the dreaded "further reading," but it just seemed too pushy.