Canon Andrew White, the vicar of Baghdad, is not, in person, at all as I’d imagined him. His memoir, about life as first a medic, then a cleric, is chock-a-block with famous friends. Pope John Paul II was a pal, the Grand Ayatollah of Baghdad, General David Petraeus. ‘Oh, Andrew knows everyone,’ I was told when I asked anyone about him, and I’m afraid my heart hardened. I arrived in the rain at his house in Liphook, Hampshire, preparing myself for a vain man, full of his own derring-do.