NYRB Classics collector. Reads anything, so long as it's good. Sometimes historian. Frequently grumpy: you've been warned. Also at aliceunderskies.tumblr.com.
This book gave me one of the more mixed reading experiences in recent memory. There were sections of it that I just LOVED! so much that I wanted to pester everyone I knew with excerpts; other parts were so repetitive and annoying that I almost quit reading. Sweartogod the exact same scene is repeated almost word-for-word chapter after chapter in the first part of the book (and I am docking a full star for that dastardly stunt). I realize some might argue this repetition is meant to evoke emotions in the reader that mirror the characters'--but I simply don't care. It's obnoxious. Some of the linguistic pyrotechnics really excited me at first, but by the end I felt that they just served to distract from the plot's more wanting aspects. Not without its charm--certainly containing some fantastic aspects--but the pain & frustration exceeded the payout on this one.