This is a book utterly unlike anything else, and full of paradoxes. It describes riotous sexual adventures and misadventures, but is also fabulously romantic; and it chronicles some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century, while brimming with life and warmth, and often being laugh-out-loud funny. Reading it is like spending time with a friend who is sometimes outrageous, sometimes ferocious, sometimes tender. And it's addictively well-written. I absolutely loved it.
It took me 8 days to read this book, skipping meals, dabbing eyes, because I couldn't put it down. Certainly a literary toure-de-force and not a book for the fainthearted. A hell of a journey, but thanks to the author's play on words, the irony, the honesty, it's a story full of compassion in a world where such a vital sense of humanity is painfully lacking. I would recommend this book to anyone concerned about the constant wars around the globe, and anyone with a sense of fun in the face of all aridity, because there's plenty of that too in Dick O'Toole's Life and Times.