I congratulate anyone who gets through this - at 1114 pages its no walk in the park, but well worth the effort.
Roberts has an uncanny ability to take any topic, say, The French Revolution, the Civil War, the fall of Rome, and penetrate right to the heart of the matter, capturing its very essence and significance. Equally though, he is able to bind all the individual events together, to explain the broader developments of history across all cultures and continents.
The book benefits from beginning at prehistory, which makes the story that follows all the more fascinating, and at times ridiculous, when you think that not too long ago we were still just apes.
My main criticisms would be that he does tend to emphasise, ad nauseum, the hegemony that Europe established over the rest of the world. It does become a little Eurocentric and repititive in places. Roberts also has an annoying habit of quoting someone but then not telling you who said it (" as a philosopher once said...").
Even taking these things into account, as a history graduate I would say I have rarely, if ever, encountered a historian with such a brilliant grasp of the issues of history or who can express things with such clarity.