There are moments that are truly amazing. A good chunk of it ranks with some of the best historical fiction I've ever read. But the whole thing feels too ambitious and, consequently, too rushed. There are too many characters. I understand he is trying to convey the size of this thing, but the details sort of get lost, to an extent. It's a good novel, but it's not his best and it certainly didn't live up to my own expectations (it's the kind of thing I figured he'd be really good at writing). Still well worth the time, even if it isn't perfect.