I just read a few of the reviews for this book and I was taken aback by the amount of negative feedback it generated. I was totally enthused by A Long Way Down and read it in one sitting. Thinking back on it now it's true that there wasn't much of a plot, that the messy situations the characters are in don't get fully resolved at the end, and that the basic premise is contrived: four strangers who are intending to top themselves meet by chance on top of a building on New Year's Eve, and as a result end up forming a weird support group and don't kill themselves. Well, all that's true but it didn't bother me in the slightest as I didn't feel that that was the point of the book - or rather, it was as these apparent weaknesses are in fact what make this book amazing, and I'm sure it's completely intentional on the part of the author. The contrived aspects give a sort of urban fairytale feel to the book, but it's pretty obvious that it's tongue in cheek and meant to be that way - I think the whole episode about the imaginary angel confirms this. Perhaps the reason why a lot of readers didn't like it is because in spite of the contrived elements it's a lot like real life, therefore unpredictable and not like a "proper book", with plot, dénouement etc. To sum up: an incredibly wise, compassionate and at times hilarious exploration of human despair and frailties, and also a joyful celebration of life in all its weirdness and unresolvedness. You will absolutely love it if you've found yourself in limbo at least once in your life, thinking you can't carry on while still keeping a glimmer of hope on the back burner. But if you're looking for a clever plot and storyline don't buy this book!