It's sort of astounding that this is a first novel. I mean, there are times (since it is so damn long) that you can tell, especially in the plot (less is more, and there is definitely too much, and too much unbeliveable, plot). But on the whole this is an incredible book. It is downright, laugh-out-loud hilarious more often than not. I think my neighbours, and perhaps the odd subway rider or TIFF goes, thinks I'm totally insane, cackling maniacly at this book, but I couldn't help myself. The other aspect that is especially wonderfu is the philsosophy, a sort of comedic pseudo-pessimistic humanism that I can't begin to express in a label. It's incredible how many phrases I highlighted. I love novels of ideas and I especially love funny novels of ideas (as they are a rare, rare breed) - especially when I agree with so many of the ideas - so this was just a delight. Really, the only thing keeping me from insisting this is an absolute classic is the excess of plot. But hey, it's his first novel.