While I enjoyed this book, and found it mostly well written and engaging, I thought it far too long and ponderous. Despite the fact that the characters were very developed, I still didn't really care much about them by the end of the book, and found that the arc of the narrative, while having a logic of its own, was at times simply preposterous. Tartt clearly loves F. Scott Fitzgerald; she does a good job creating a sense of place and time in the Vermont Liberal Arts College, Hampden, however she needed to cut about a third of the cruft from this book. There are lengthy chapters where the characters are in various bars, hotels, student rooms, and various houses, and there is no reason for them to be moving around from place to place. Its a bit exasperating and tedious to follow it all!