this book confirmed that i don't like his writing style at all. but it also clarified more about why i didn't like about schmidt. he writes about this main character that is a petty, annoying, unlikeable man, which is an ok thing to do. but he gives us no insight into his motivation or into what makes him this person, so we can't relate at all, or care at all. this crystallized for me in the first third of this book, which i found such a waste (why was i reading again about this man i couldn't stand, who was doing things that didn't seem believable, with writing i don't like). somehow, the last two thirds, until the final 10 pages or so, became much more entertaining. i don't know what happened, but it was suddenly more readable. not that i'm recommending it.