oh, where to begin??? i guess i should start with the fact that an older book by about 7 years of his (illusions) is one of the books that has most impacted me in my life. perhaps it was the timing in my life when i first read it, and each timing i reread it or referred to it. so maybe i had high expectations coming in. i suppose i could give 1.5 stars because the ending of this book starts to approach some of what is good about illusions, but the rest of this book is ... let's just say i kept reading it to see how angry it could make me, how much he could make me want to reach through time and throttle him, and because i've not not finished a book i've started since first grade. he's not a great writer, but that's forgiven because he's got "a message," i guess. maybe. but here's the thing. well, 2 things. firstly, this is a sort-of memoir, and the man writing it is a colossal, monumental douchebag. i don't know that i've ever used that word to describe someone, but wow it fits this guy. and secondly, it's like he learned absolutely nothing at all of the lessons he wrote about in illusions, which is dispiriting, to say the least. reading this, you wonder how in the world it's the same person who wrote that little gem, and you think if even he can go back on those lessons so very easily, and be this terrible person who seemed to remember none of what was good from that book, then what truth is there in it? how could he have written illusions and be the person who wrote this book? how can leslie, who seems an amazing woman, stand to be in the same room with this man? i'm actually okay with selfishness as a life prerogative; i think it makes sense to live for yourself and how you see fit. but to do that at the expense of others? not taking anyone else into account? hurting whoever you want along the way because how they interpret it is on them? asshole. how this is billed (and reviewed!) as a love story is beyond me. he treats people like shit, including the woman he claims to be his soulmate (it doesn't help that we know he's divorced her, and divorced the next woman as well). and because he - after being a truly incredible piece of crap human being for so long - finds love in spite of himself, we call this a love story? i call this a sorry excuse for both a memoir and a human being, and with very little to learn about love in it, other than what to avoid. i can't stand this man. maybe i read this book at a time that i am not open to it or ready to hear it or whatever, but let's face it - we want to learn our lessons from people that we can respect even remotely. maybe that's a shortcoming, and my lesson to learn. i can still learn from this book, especially the ending and from leslie in general, and not just how not to be an asshole, but that's the overwhelming lesson in this book - not to behave like the author.