Finally, a multi-faceted, richly textured, thought-provoking and deeply woven and embroidered series of "tales" from a rather masterful story-teller who treats his readers as cogent listeners capable of keeping the various skeins of this historical, cultural, psychosociological and demi-religious tapestry flowing. As an avid and voracious reader with somewhat eclectic tastes, I find Mr. Attanasio's spinning of the threads of these tales to be highly intelligent, deeply fascinating, richly image-evocative and teleportational. So much more so than the typical Freudean psychic-cleansing pap that many current editors seem to qualify as saleable fiction. Yes, life is not easy and we all have our "crosses" to bear; however, can't we have a little more story-telling and a little less Freudean-couch revelations? Occassionally, as with any modern-day story-teller, he has to fall back into reiterrations in order to keep those not willing or able to invest the time and/or money in the preceding tales up with the mulitlayered goings-on in these tales; and yes, he sometimes strays across to "New Age-Feel Good" whining or carping. Yet, his characters for the most part are so fully fleshed and "real" that I feel I'm standing, next to, or even looking out of the eyes of, each narrating character.
To be honest, I haven't watched TV since I got hooked on the first book of this Middle Earth adventure, nor even listened to the stereo, as the lyricality of this writing, and the characters, both human and demiurge (sometimes even animal) has enraptured all of my senses, especially my own little dreamworld. He has also led me into new forays through the almost-forgotten magical pleasures of my local library, seeking further illumination on Celtic, Drudic, Christian, British, magical and other tangential gems tossed out as asides in his tale. What an extra-special, unexpected treat! Challenge yourself to reasses your own "reality". Wrap yourself up in these tales.