There were moments when the story and it's quirky characters reminded me of some of Irving's best work, like A Prayer for Owen Meany, or The World According to Garp or Cider House Rules. Other times the story was unbelievably boring, repetative and just sort of dumb. I did finish the book after a couple false stops and starts and the main characters have found a place in my heart----something Irving is very good at doing. But I can't help but think the novel could have been so much better than it was, and there were times when I felt that Irving was just having the reader on, so to speak, not serious about this or that development or bit of narrative, as if he was wasting my time all but intentionally. Still, the social commentary behind the novel is worthwhile and the story does finally come through.
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