First of all, the book is long. Maybe the longest of Irving's books, coming in a little over 800. Contrary to the previous comment, I wouldn't call it a "word-processor novel." Who uses a word processor anymore? Like Dickens, Irving immerses you in a story and he doesn't mind taking his time, which I think is a great strength. I was never bored and, in fact, think it's one of his greatest novels. Before you read it, make sure you are reasonably comfortable with a lot of underage sexuality.