i can't honestly say why i liked this book. the main character is pretty much a wanker (to use the british pejorative; but he is also featured masturbating a good bit in the book so it fits there, too) but that's ok. he knows this and sort of tries to fix it but can't, and that's ok, too (probably more realistic than what i think most readers probably want from their asshole protagonists). the "mysterious" women in the book all do the strangest things with zero explanation, making it thoroughly annoying to hear one of them constantly berate "You don't get it. You never did, you never will." because as readers we're not really getting it all, either. also ok. taken all together, though, i feel like i should have been annoyed by this book. but. i liked it. it was a pretty quick read, but it has some really great themes and concepts (about history, memory, nostalgia...the self-serving rewrite of our own history). i guess it's those themes and their discussion that i really liked, and that i'll probably find myself thinking about for a while."...what you end up remembering isn't always the same as what you have witnessed.""Again, I must stress that this is my reading now of what happened then. Or rather, my memory now of my reading then of what was happening at the time.""At some level, she blames me for the divorce. As in: since it was all her mother's doing, it was obviously all her father's fault.""Someone once said that his favourite times in history were when things were collapsing, because that meant something new was being born. Does this make any sense if we apply it to our individual lives? To die when something new is being born -- even if that something new is our very own self? Because just as all political and historical change sooner or later disappoints, so does adulthood. So does life. Sometimes I think the purpose of life is to reconcile us to its eventual loss by wearing us down, by proving, however long it takes, that life isn't all it's cracked up to be."