The book is a metaphor of what it means to be human. If you have ever asked yourself who is evil in the the world, where the line can be drawn between the good and evil in humanity then this is a book that will change you. Madison shows his virtuosity in literature in a brilliant display of what it means to be human and what humanity clings to as food for the soul. You learn of the grotesque poisons that one soul inflicts on another and the embrace of inner conflict when one accepts another, faults and all. The characters are for the most part deeply entwined in the the plot, in many different ways, and there are many of them, so be sure to make a list of characters, in the back of the book or somewhere, as you encounter them throughout the story. Rest assured this book is not perfect, but no novel is. At times you will face slowerer parts, and surely this book will test your anylytical skills, it will not be at the same level as "See Spot Run," it is a difficult novel, but you will not be dissapointed at the end. At its conclusion you will feel as though you accomplished something more worthwhile than your job, and satisfyingly so. Don't be discouraged if it gets hard! Its worth it!