People seem to love this. I didn't. James Wood's glowing review in the New Yorker draws comparisons to Bellow and then V.S. Naipaul, and I could tease out my relative lack of excitement against his points. Unlike Bellow and more like my sense of Naipaul, O'Neill's prose and characters struck me as fussily detailed in an "artful" way, so that you're always paying attention to the precise bit of prose, rarely swept away by the bombast or exuberant vocal performances of outsized personalities. There are "big characters" in the book, but it's narrated in a manner that mutes and makes pretty. I read Bellow and I see his name as a verb, leaving me buffeted and pretty much blown away by the prose, line by line. Naipaul and O'Neill, on the other hand, leave me coldly attesting to their mastery of style, and maybe just a bit cold, period.