I bought this on a whim (in fact I barely looked beyond the front cover) and wasn't particularly looking forward to reading it. I was UTTERLY wrong. This is probably the best book I've ever read. In fact take all the books I've ever read, add them all together and it probably just about matches how good this book is! One of the reviews says that "It gives off the unmistakeable whiff of a book that might just contain the secret of life.". I agree with this whole heartedly. Such is the authors expertise at observing the vagueries of human existence, the pointlessness of many of the things we try to achieve and just how funny it all is, that I was completely enthralled. I cannot lend this to any friends becasue I'll probably want to read it again very soon and stop and think properly about some of the philosphical aspects. It's a bit of a tome - some 700 pages - but I could have easily read more. It was hilarious in many parts and really laugh out loud stuff! Very original, fantastic and immense plot, funny and life enhancing - what more can we ask for?! My only concern about this book - is how on earth it could be followed up?! Good luck Mr Toltz!